To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, the Center for Puppetry Arts hosted a Labyrinth Masquerade Ball on September 1. The event served as the unofficial kickoff to Dragon Con weekend for many science fiction and fantasy fans. The evening also marked the opening of a new special exhibit at the Center – Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Journey to the Goblin City.
Tickets to the event were in high demand. The Facebook event listing indicated over 13,000 people were interested in attending, but only 150 tickets were made available. Tickets sales were a record for the Center, selling out in less than two minutes. Fans travelled from all over the world to attend, including at least one guest from Sydney, Australia.
Puppet skeletons directed guests to the entrance. A replica of the Goblin King’s throne was on display in the Center’s foyer, and guests were encouraged to pose for pictures. Also greeting visitors was an intricately decorated red velvet cake in the shape of a goblin. As guests made their way into the Center’s atrium, they were transported into a scene straight from the movie. Labyrinth-themed decorations, amazing costumes, and hors d’oeuvres fit for the Goblin King abounded.
Brian Henson, Chairman of the Jim Henson Company, attended the event and was the judge for the costume contest. Guests were encouraged to wear a Labyrinth or masquerade costume. The level of detail, creativity, and workmanship of the costumes was extraordinary. It was no easy feat to name a winner from the nine finalists selected. Photos from the event including photos of the costume contest finalists and winners can be found at the end of this article.
Revelers were free to take in the Center’s many puppetry exhibits or remain in the atrium and party to dance hits from the 1980s as well as songs from the Labyrinth soundtrack by David Bowie.
Labyrinth is a 1986 fantasy film by Jim Henson. In the movie, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) journeys through a dangerous maze inhabited by an assortment of strange creatures. She is in search of her baby brother, Toby (Toby Froud), who has been taken by the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie). A remastered 4K transfer of the film with new special features will be available on September 20.
The Center for Puppetry Arts is located in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops and the hands-on museum, as well as distance learning and outreach programs. The Center recently completed a major expansion of the Worlds of Puppetry Museum which houses the Global Collection of unique puppets from all over the world and the Jim Henson Collection, a comprehensive presentation of Jim Henson’s puppets and artifacts.