It’s pretty unbelievable to consider I’ve been in Hollywood for a month now, and one of the most interesting things I’ve done since arriving is checking out The Hollywood Museum, one of the best collections of film memorabilia in the world. It’s located in the Max Factor Building on the corner of Hollywood and Highland, and is open 10-5 on Wednesday through Sunday. I’d travel as cheaply as you can. The place is like a bona fide time capsule taking you right into the best scenes of great films and the lives of the most memorable stars. As many great exhibits as there are, however, the best part by far is the room that has the actual prison hallway and jail cell of Dr. Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs. It’s one of the most chilling moments I’ve ever experienced.
One of my other favorite parts was the Marilyn Monroe exhibit, which almost has an entire floor to itself (there are 4 floors in the whole building)! To me, she’s the kind of person who literally had everything, and nothing. In the 1950s, every girl wanted to be her, and every guy wanted to sleep with her and yet she never had any real time to herself when she was picked up by Hollywood so early in her life and her brutal drug addiction. There’s also a gallery of pictures from last year’s wonderful film, My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branaugh who put all of those tricky nuances of her life into the film. She wasn’t much of an actress but she had a perfect tone of charm and warmth that made her irresistible on the screen especially in films like The Seven Year Itch and Some Like it Hot.
It’s expensive at $15 per ticket but one of the more rewarding adventures I’ve taken since arriving in LA. It isn’t limited to just old films either, they have several exhibits for films made as recently as the 1990s and the 2000s to help prevent alienating younger viewers. Everyone should check it out before they leave! You won’t regret it!