February may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean I can’t regale you with tales of my trip to Los Angeles, CA last month! I’m actually writing this post from a different California locale (Palm Springs) right now, but more on that later.
As always, I visited LA last month to attend my favorite Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One. Also as always, I flew there before the convention started, arriving the Wednesday before (the convention runs Fri-Sun, with some official convention stuff starting on Thursday evening). Because this convention is really about hanging out with friends (though the opportunity to see a load of Doctor Who stars in one spot is also great), I always go ahead of time so I have more time with them. Since I volunteer at the convention as a guest liaison, I also help pick up guests from the airport, which is a nice way of giving back to an event I’ve had so much fun at for the last 16 years. If possible, I also always try to do something non-convention related with my friends, either before or after the con – I’ve been to the Getty, Huntington Gardens, the Griffith Observatory, a Late Late Show taping (back when Craig Ferguson was the host), and most recently, to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour last year. I did the studio tour with my friend Felicity and we had so much fun that we decided to do something again this year! And that something was…The Hollywood Museum.
So why visit The Hollywood Museum, you ask? Well, aside from being a kitschy place to visit, they happen to have a Batman 1966 exhibit on right now that I really wanted to see! The 1966 version of Batman is another show I watched as a kid (along with Doctor Who, of course), but never got to revisit as I got older because it was famously never released on any home video format. That all changed in 2014, when a fabulous complete series Blu-ray box set was released, so I got to experience it all over again. That prompted me to find some podcasts about the show (I highly recommend To the Batpoles! and The Batcave Podcast), which I still follow today. Earlier this year, those podcasts mentioned this exhibit and when I realized its dates aligned with my LA trip (the exhibit runs through some of April), I thought it would make the perfect place to visit. Felicity was down for it and it turned out a few other friends were as well, so before I knew it, we had a group of seven! One of those friends lives in LA and graciously offered to drive us all there – perfect!
Before going to museum, I had to get to LA! My flight there was pretty uneventful, though earlier than normal as I used miles for the flight and I got the best deal by choosing the 655a departure. I get up early for work anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal to get up early for a flight, though it’s probably not my favorite way to start a vacation. But I did get a nice surprise when my friend Bill (who always goes to Gallifrey, too) showed up at the airport with another friend of ours who had decided to fly to the convention with us! He’s a Who fan as well and he’s even been to this convention several times in the past, but not for a number of years, so it was great to have him make a return visit. They happened to be sitting one row over and behind me, so I switched seats with the person next to them and we had fun chatting for most of the flight. The next thing we knew, we were in LA, getting our baggage, and grabbing a shuttle to the LAX Marriott, our home-away-from-home. The rest of the day was spent getting settled in our room, getting provisions at a local market, doing an airport pickup for convention guests, and catching up with friends. Before we knew it, it was Thursday morning and we were on our way to The Hollywood Museum!
The museum is housed in what used to be the Max Factor Building and the owners of The Hollywood Museum put a lot of time and effort into restoring it to its Art Deco glory when they purchased it in 1994. It was really cool to see the restored make-up rooms and decor on the main floor of the building before heading to the top level to tour the Batman exhibit. The exhibit is interesting because it’s essentially a display of pieces from about two dozen Batman collectors – they all came together to contribute to the first-of-its-kind exhibit and I’m very glad they did! Because the show is over 50 years old, some of the pieces on display are actually very good reproductions as opposed to originals, but that was made clear from the start and was usually pointed out in the signage, so we knew what we were looking it. One of the hallmarks of Batman was it use of colors – everything on the show really POPPED with vibrant colors (which was made much more clear to us viewers with the restored Blu-ray set) and this exhibit put those colors right in front of us. While there were varying levels of Bat-fandom within our little group, I think it’s safe to say we all really enjoyed the exhibit.
I took a lot of pictures, though I did weed out a few for this post. Enjoy!
Now, much as I would have loved for the entire building to be filled with only Batman stuff, it actually has goodies from various aspects of the movie and TV industry. There’s non-Batman stuff on the same floor as the exhibit, as well as on other floors, so after finishing our tour of Batman history, we explored everything else, going down from floor to floor. Check out the additional photos below for some of the stuff we saw.
Back on the museum’s main level and realizing Dorothy’s ruby slippers don’t look as magical in person as they did in The Wizard of Oz.
A quick shot of Hollywood High School as we headed back to the car.
And that was our day out in Hollywood! I’m really glad we got the chance to visit the Batman exhibit and The Hollywood Museum overall. Even if you can’t make it in time to see the exhibit (or if you just don’t care about Batman – ha!), it’s worth a visit to get a glimpse of lots of other photos, collectibles, and more. It was also cool to see more of Hollywood, which I had never been to before this trip, despite the number of times I’ve visited LA. In addition to that, the weather was great and the company was even better, so this was a great way to kick-off this year’s trip.
What’s that? You want to know about the actual convention? Fear not – that’s coming in my next post! I figured it would be easier to split the trip into two posts, given how many photos I’ve already included in this one. Find it here!