It is no doubt that COVID-19 has caused a great shift throughout the entire world. Now more than ever, people are looking for safe ways to enjoy the outside world and for life to slowly go back to normal.
In Miami,FL the road to going back to normal seems to be a long one; however, at the Miami Museum of Illusions not even COVID-19 can stop the fun.
To give a synopsis on the history of the museum, the museum originated in Russia and the first few locations of the Museum of Illusions were established in Russia. After, the museum expanded to other locations, like Latin America and North America, the North American museums started off in Los Angeles, then expanded to San Francisco and now the Miami museum opened on December of 2019.
The Museum of Illusions pertains to each unique culture of every city where a museum is located.
The artwork in the Miami museum is painted by artists from all over the world and each illusion has a 3-D effect that really makes it look like you are a part of the illusion, but the overall purpose of this museum is for photo opportunities and, of course, a great time.
Original Photo of an optical Illusion at The Miami Museum of Illusions by Katherine Miranda.
(It really looks like I am fighting that fire bird!!!)
Anya Lonskaya, a staff member at the museum, expressed how the business was affected by the pandemic, “We were closed for two and a half months and obviously we are an entertainment venue so we [the museum] had to be careful and restructure our business in a way where we could come back from this pandemic.”
The entertainment and tourism industry has been the hardest hit business in Miami, the museum has had to adjust to CDC guidelines such as social distancing, wearing a mask and keeping the business sanitary.
Anya stated, “unfortunately because the business was affected so much we were only able to bring a portion of our staff back.”
Just like other Miami entertainment businesses, many places had to lay off a portion of their staff in order to accommodate for the loss of business and to follow CDC guidelines.
“Currently we are only operating at less than 50% capacity because we want to ensure that everybody is able to experience the museum in the right way,” says Anya.
Now at the Museum of Illusions there are no more crowds or lines at the entrance, it is almost like going on a private tour or having a photography studio to yourself.
“The number of staff members that are currently working right now is only about 25% to 30%,” says Anya; which of course managers and supervisors had to come back to help rebuild the business of the museum; however, other job titles like cashier and photographer are still on a standby.
Right now the museum is trying their best efforts to create a fun and normal experience for the staff and most importantly the guests. The few photographers that are still working at the museum are making sure that rental photo equipment is being sanitized. As well as when they are taking photos of guests they are maintaining distance and wearing a mask.
David Godbolt, a photographer at the Museum of Illusions, expressed his concerns and experience as a photographer during the pandemic stating, "It is a lot more difficult in terms of interacting with guests, once I bring the guests in and go over all the procedures and rules the guests feel safer, I stay sanitized because I’m always touching everybody's phones and taking everybody's photos."
The distance is harder to achieve especially when you want good photos but David says, “we are definitely pushing them to get the tripods because with that we don’t have to touch their phones at all, we just tell them how to place it and how to operate the tripod.”
By renting a tripod, guests do not need any photographer interaction and can actually be their own photographer; but for now, David Godbolt, museum photographer, makes his best efforts in sanitizing guest phones when exchanging phones.
Guests are required to keep a face mask upon entering the museum and guests must keep it throughout the museum. The only time guest are allowed to remove their mask is when they take their photos for a brief minute, but then are required to put their mask on again.
Guests are also expected to sanitize their hands before and after experiencing the museum.
Original Photos of optical illusions at the Miami Museum of Illusions by Katherine Miranda.
(Don't worry I made sure to sanitize and put my mask on after the picture)
“We have noticed that people are feeling great and open to come and experience the museum,” Anya stated.
The museum is offering guests to purchase their tickets online in advance in order to ensure that there is contactless service.
If a guest doesn't feel comfortable visiting the museum at the moment, rescheduling visits for up to one year after the purchase is an option guests can take advantage of.
With the museum not having many crowds of people gathering, it is a safe environment to take pictures and make sure you and a loved one can make a nice memory during these tough times.
Original Photo of the Miami Museum of Illusions entrance by Katherine Miranda.
Currently, a lot more people are connected online and you will definitely get a lot of views, likes and comments on your posts of the photos from the museum.
If you are looking for a safe and fun activity to do during this pandemic you can definitely trust that the Museum of Illusions located in Miami will provide a safe and excellent experience.
For more information please visit miaillusions.com as well as contact them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org and lastly follow their page on instagram @museumofillusions.usa, who knows maybe your experience will be shared on their page!