Friday, November 16, 2012

Classic Film Gifts - Experiences

I've always loved coming up with unique gifts for people, and with the holidays quickly approaching I have a ton of ideas for the classic film fan! Experiences are always a great thing to give, and if you're in LA or visiting LA there's a lot of "experiences" that you could give to a friend or loved one. 

A membership with The American Cinematheque makes a great gift, and you get some really great perks at both The Aero and The Egyptian for a year! You get discounted tickets to shows, free passes to use during your birthday month, restaurant discounts, and many, many other things depending on the membership level that you choose. One of the best perks are the guest speakers they have at most of the screenings. Most recently, I was able to see a 3D screening of Creature From The Black Lagoon and they had a Q & A with Julie Adams after the film.

Near the corner of Hollywood and Highland in the Max Factor building, The Hollywood Museum displays thousands of props and memorabilia from Hollywood past and present including rare still photographs of lost scenes from The Mummy (1933), costumes from Ben Hur, and their "Dungeon of Doom" featuring Hannibal Lecter's jail cell from The Silence of the Lambs. The ground floor of the museum also features an extensive exhibit of items used by Factor in his many makeovers of movie stars. Some of his most famous undertakings was the creation of Jean Harlow as a platinum blonde and Lucille Ball's red hair. Currently, the museum has an expanded display of Marilyn Monroe pieces on display as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of her death; this is in addition to the extensive collection they normally display. In late November they will be setting up their "Holiday Hollywood Style" display featuring eighteen Christmas trees, each one inspired by a different holiday film, along with props and costumes from those films. Below are a few pictures from the visit I made during the holidays last year.

If you don't live in Los Angeles, you're not out of luck! If you're a fan of road trips, why not follow old Route 66 and see the places where Easy Rider was filmed? Along the way you could stop at the El Rancho hotel, which served as a getaway for many of old Hollywood's elite.
San Francisco can be seen in many Hollywood films such as Escape From Alcatraz and Vertigo, and places like Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge, or Fisherman's Wharf all make great destinations. Depending on where you live, you might have something close to home to visit, like the Jimmy Stewart museum in PA, the Empire State Building in New York or, if you're overseas, there's the Marlene Dietrich museum in Berlin, the Greta Garbo museum in Sweden, and the National Museum of Cinema in Turin, Italy.

Big or small, the possibilities for a great film "experience" are endless! Here are a few other suggestions:

Passes for the TCM Film Festival
Mark Klaus' "Holly"wood Christmas Movieland
New Orleans Movie Tour

More gift guides with various themes will be posted in the coming weeks!

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