Hollywood props, costumes, cosmetics, dreams … at three new museums Essay

Hollywood props, costumes, cosmetics, dreams . . . at three newmuseums The stuff of dreams has been Hollywood’s major product formany years, and three new museums show how this glamorous entertainmentfactory delivers its goods. On a Thursday or Friday, when all three areopen, you can combine them in a half-day outing with a picnic.

Start at the Hollywood Museum to see original props and costumesfrom Hollywood’s classic films. Then take a three-block walk east,past Hollywood Boulevard attractions like C.C. Brown’s ice creamparlor and Mann’s Chinese Theatre, to the Max Factor Museum;innovative cosmetics shown here kept pace with rapidly changing filmtechnology to keep film stars looking their best. For your last stop,you could drive to the Hollywood Bowl Museum, where you can picnic inthe seats of the famous amphitheater or on a scenic overlook.

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Hollywood Museum, 7051 Hollywood Boulevard. On display in thelofty exhibit space are hundreds of artifacts and costumes representingfilm history from silent flicks to space-age fantasies. Original costumes (some by designers Omar Kiam and Edith Head)include Judy Garland’s dress from The Wizard of Oz, JoanCrawford’s dazzling crystalbead dress from The Bride Wore Red, andSylvester Stallone’s boxing shorts from Rocky. Famous photographsfrom the 1930s bring you within close-up distance of CaroleLombard’s sensuous lips, Gary Cooper’s sophisticated grin, andBette Davis’ uplifted gaze. Macabre horror-film posters line the walls of a smaller galleryhaunted by grotesque heads, clawed hands, and an open casket from LoveAt First Bite–a satirical version of the Dracula legend.

You’llalso see streamlined ray guns from 1950s science-fiction films and aspear gun used to battle the monster in The Creature from the BlackLagoon. A third room houses a glittering Oscar and several paintedbackgrounds, including a dusky New York City rooftop from West SideStory. Hours are 10 to 7 Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, 10 to 10 Fridaysand Saturdays. Admission costs $4.50 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2.

50for children. Metered parking and all-day lots are nearby. Max Factor Museum, 1666 N. Highland Avenue. In Czarist Russia, MaxFactor was a make-up man for the Royal Ballet; in Hollywood, he createdthe first cosmetics specifically designed for the film used in motionpictures and, later, television.

His elegant 1935 salon is now amuseum, its walls lined with photographs of his clients. On display are Max Factor “firsts’: an early pair offalse eyelashes (invented 1910), “sanitary’ tube grease paint(1922), and television’s “pancake’ makeup (1932), as wellas wig blocks for Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Gene Kelly, and otherstars. Hundreds of his clients’ signatures cover a scroll datingto the salon’s opening celebration in 1935. The museum (free) is open 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.There’s a parking lot. Hollywood Bowl Museum, 2301 N. Highland Avenue. In 1920, theHollywood Bowl was a grassy slope called Daisy Dell, overlooking anacoustically perfect canyon.

Today, it’s a 17,000-seat musicalmecca–summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The museum is open(free) all year; off-season hours are 10 to 5 Wednesdays throughSundays. Bowl grounds are also open for picnicking.

The museum illuminates the bowl’s colorful 62-year historywith photographs from Hollywood’s early days, architectural models,costume re-creations, and a 21-minute video. In a listening roomequipped with headphones, you can hear famous Bowl concerts, includingpianist Artur Rubinstein playing Mendelssohn, Beethoven, andTchaikovsky. A small gift shop offers books, post cards, posters, andrecords.

There’s free parking. In spring, the museum will offer a guided”behind-the-scenes’ tour, plus lectures and educationalprograms related to music. Call (213) 850-2059 for details. Photo: Two tough guys mirror poses as visitor checks out teen starMatt Dillon’s costume from The Outsiders Photo: Pop-eyed space creature was used in the filming of CloseEncounters of the Third Kind Photo: Pancake make-up (left), invented for TV by Max Factor andhere shown on young Lucille Ball, is on display at his art deco salon(above) Photo: Acoustic shell designed for Hollywood Bowl in 1927 by LloydWright is replicated as museum model today


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