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

Hollywood props, costumes, cosmetics, dreams . . . at three new

The stuff of dreams has been Hollywood’s major product for
many years, and three new museums show how this glamorous entertainment
factory delivers its goods. On a Thursday or Friday, when all three are
open, you can combine them in a half-day outing with a picnic.

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

Hollywood Museum, 7051 Hollywood Boulevard. On display in the
lofty exhibit space are hundreds of artifacts and costumes representing
film 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, Joan
Crawford’s dazzling crystalbead dress from The Bride Wore Red, and
Sylvester Stallone’s boxing shorts from Rocky. Famous photographs
from the 1930s bring you within close-up distance of Carole
Lombard’s sensuous lips, Gary Cooper’s sophisticated grin, and
Bette Davis’ uplifted gaze.

Macabre horror-film posters line the walls of a smaller gallery
haunted by grotesque heads, clawed hands, and an open casket from Love
At First Bite–a satirical version of the Dracula legend. You’ll
also see streamlined ray guns from 1950s science-fiction films and a
spear gun used to battle the monster in The Creature from the Black

A third room houses a glittering Oscar and several painted
backgrounds, including a dusky New York City rooftop from West Side

Hours are 10 to 7 Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, 10 to 10 Fridays
and Saturdays. Admission costs $4.50 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2.50
for children. Metered parking and all-day lots are nearby.

Max Factor Museum, 1666 N. Highland Avenue. In Czarist Russia, Max
Factor was a make-up man for the Royal Ballet; in Hollywood, he created
the first cosmetics specifically designed for the film used in motion
pictures and, later, television. His elegant 1935 salon is now a
museum, its walls lined with photographs of his clients.

On display are Max Factor “firsts’: an early pair of
false eyelashes (invented 1910), “sanitary’ tube grease paint
(1922), and television’s “pancake’ makeup (1932), as well
as wig blocks for Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Gene Kelly, and other
stars. Hundreds of his clients’ signatures cover a scroll dating
to 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, the
Hollywood Bowl was a grassy slope called Daisy Dell, overlooking an
acoustically perfect canyon. Today, it’s a 17,000-seat musical
mecca–summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The museum is open
(free) all year; off-season hours are 10 to 5 Wednesdays through
Sundays. Bowl grounds are also open for picnicking.

The museum illuminates the bowl’s colorful 62-year history
with photographs from Hollywood’s early days, architectural models,
costume re-creations, and a 21-minute video. In a listening room
equipped with headphones, you can hear famous Bowl concerts, including
pianist Artur Rubinstein playing Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and
Tchaikovsky. A small gift shop offers books, post cards, posters, and
records. There’s free parking.

In spring, the museum will offer a guided
“behind-the-scenes’ tour, plus lectures and educational
programs related to music. Call (213) 850-2059 for details.

Photo: Two tough guys mirror poses as visitor checks out teen star
Matt Dillon’s costume from The Outsiders

Photo: Pop-eyed space creature was used in the filming of Close
Encounters of the Third Kind

Photo: Pancake make-up (left), invented for TV by Max Factor and
here shown on young Lucille Ball, is on display at his art deco salon

Photo: Acoustic shell designed for Hollywood Bowl in 1927 by Lloyd
Wright is replicated as museum model today


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