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Photo: Film Museums
Worth The Trip
Other than a school field trip, it’s hard to remember when someone has gone to a museum of their own free will. There are typically two groups of people; the ones who love museums and the ones who haven’t found their niche yet. Art galleries can be a bit stiff at times with the no-touch rules and the rich history of artists, but that’s only the beginning of museums. From interactive to pop-up events, museums have turned into exciting attractions that entice people from around the world.
Though the world is our oyster this particular list will focus on the museums that are located in the United States, though once leaving the borders there are an enormous amount of film museums. Particular interest in that countries film history which offers a new perspective than one is usually used to in cinema. Some examples of notable global attractions are in China, France, and the UK.
Best Film Museums:
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (Los Angeles, CA)
One of the most highly anticipated museums to open is The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California. Opening the doors on September 30th, the museum is filled with movie artifacts that would make a cinephile’s heart skip a beat. Just clicking on their website is a theatrical experience with moving images and hundreds of facts about the award ceremony. Some highlighted items that are on display are the alien head from Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ in 1979, Judy Garland’s original ruby slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in 1939, and even the shark named bruce from Steven Speilberg’s ‘Jaws’ in 1975. That is only the beginning of what is to come walking through Oscar history and the magic of movie-making.
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There are also two theaters that will be used for large film events and programs. An upcoming event is with Laura Dern and her parents as they have a conversation about their careers and how they impacted Dern’s life, this is the first of the Legacy Conversation series that celebrates the people of Hollywood. There is also a two-story restaurant called “Fanny’s” that is named after Fanny Bryce from the Barbara Streisand classic ‘Funny Girl’ in 1968. The restaurant and cafe is an ode to the classical era of Hollywood with its architectural design while also blending it with how it is today in the industry.
The general adult admission is $25 and can now be reserved online here, free admission is available for all people under the age of 17.
Museum of the Moving Image (Queens, NY)
Museum of the Moving Image is tucked away from the business of New York City and sits outside in Queens. This museum is a wonderful experience of the history of filmmaking and not only holds exciting artifacts from your favorite films but offers interactive experiences to play with throughout the exhibits. I have been there a couple of times myself, and walking through the doors feels like you are entering a futuristic lobby. With white glossy walls and slanted furniture, it feels like an ode to ‘2001: a Space Odyssey’.
Speaking of Kubrick’s classic, there is an exhibit on display now that features props, scripts, storyboards, and more that are about ‘2001’. This is a changing exhibit and will only be on display until September 26th. Another fun exhibit to experience is the permanent Jim Henson Exhibition. This is part has over 300 pieces and many of which are puppets such as Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Elmo, and more favorites from ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Sesame Street’. There is also a portion dedicated to Henson’s feature films like ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘The Dark Crystal’. There are on display is David Bowie’s extravagant costume and a huge puppet of a Skeksis.
A family fun experience that’s admission is $15 that can be purchased here.
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The Warner Bros. Studio Tour (Burbank, California)
This tour is a definite must for any movie lover. More than just a museum The Warner Brothers Studio Tour is an active walk through one of the world’s busiest studio lots in the film industry. Visiting sets like the living room from ‘The Big Bang Theory’, to the fountain seen in the introduction of the sitcom ‘Friends’ and even the Central Perk set. For all superhero fans, there are tons of props and costumes in the new DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains exhibition that showcases the Batmobile. There is even an interactive sound stage where tourists can experience what people in the field do every day. Though many of the tours are temporarily unavailable because of Covid-19 the Studio tour is still available and they hope to re-open the rest very soon.
A studio tour ticket is $69 and can be booked here.
Museum of Pop Culture (Seattle, Washington)
Not only does the inside hold fantastic exhibits and artifacts, but tourists are drawn to the actual exterior architecture as well. Its eye-catching shimmering roof looks like a blanket of metal that was placed on top. Museum of Pop Culture is not just a film museum, but also holds musical artifacts such as memorabilia from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the great Jimi Hendrix. Focusing back onto the cinematic side of the museum, there is a wide variety of exhibits that would meet your standards.
Starting with one of the newest exhibits is presented by the Walt Disney Archives Heroes and Villain: The Art of the Disney Costume. With over 70 pieces of costuming, this display explores what goes into creating such intricate pieces for the fairytale characters. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are multiple exhibitions that are dedicated to the science-fiction and fantasy worlds of filmmaking. In these areas, there are fantastic artifacts like the robot from ‘The Terminator’ 1984, Dorothy’s dress from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ 1939, and even the ghost trap from ‘Ghostbusters’ 1984. Changing genres to horror is easy for this museum because there is also an exhibit entitled “Scared to Death” which features Micheal Myer’s mask from ‘Halloween’ to Freddy Krugars sweater in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’.
For museum tickets that include the Disney exhibit would cost around $33 and can be reserved here.
By Jack Colin
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Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.