Museums in Universal City

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Notably nimble hands earned Madame Tussaud the title of Versailles’ art tutor in the 1770s, beginning an illustrious sculpting career that brought her from Paris to London and won widespread acclaim. Though her first displays brought news stories and faraway leaders to waxy life, Madame Tussauds Hollwood’s exhibitions expanded to include the motley of political leaders, ficticious characters, celebrities, and shrugging pedestrians that the Hollywood location houses today. Each sculpture represents more than 800 hours of facial measuring, molding, and painting, which create uncanny likenesses of Samuel L. Jackson, Beyoncé, James Dean, Alfred Hitchcock, and Audrey Hepburn. As visitors stroll through the museum, they can pose with their favorite statue, snapping pictures alongside it or testing its rock, paper, scissors prowess.

6933 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Moving picture began by depicting a horse running at full gallop, and has now evolved into visually stimulating films like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Planet of the Apes, which can all be seen at The Hollywood Museum. Visitors meander through a 35,000-square-foot, four-floor maze of more than 10,000 authentic movie props, costumes, and memorabilia. Previously a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the subterranean floor beckons patrons down Hannibal Lecter's The Silence of the Lambs jail corridor into the full cell used in the film, storing spine-tingling treasures such as his muzzling mask. First-floor doors open into Max Factor's restored makeup rooms, which border Cary Grant's Rolls-Royce and The Wizard of Oz's ruby slippers, which tempt visitors to slip them on and teleport to Kansas. Costumes, props, awards, and photos crowd the upper two floors, where Sylvester Stallone's Razzie for Worst Actor of the Century finds a home next to threads that once hugged Marilyn Monroe's legendary curves. In the past, rotating exhibits have showcased such items as a script and autographed poster from Slumdog Millionaire, duds modeled by the quick-stepping cast of High School Musical 3, and rows of awards for TV shows and particularly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious spelling-bee performances.

1660 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Showcasing some 60,650 time-treasured titles, Warner Bros. Studios boasts one of the largest libraries of feature films, television, and animated pictures. Cozy up with a maternal maven this Mom's Day for a four-movie marathon of Blu-ray flicks designed to jerk tears and reveal stories about actual jerks she once dated in college. Uncover shared high-school experiences with a screening of 17 Again, a magical, life-swapping jaunt starring Zac Efron and Matthew Perry, or collectively swoon as Nights in Rodanthe smolders with on-screen chemistry between Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Comedy-loving creators and their cubs can crack up amid the capering crusades of Jim Carrey in Yes Man, and a spontaneous viewing of He's Just Not That Into You can help explain the Easter Bunny's prolonged tardiness to a curious college student.

3400 W Riverside Dr
Burbank,
CA
US

Martial Arts History Museum's exhibits chronicle martial arts' role in two stories: the histories of prominent Asian countries, and the cultural influence of Asian countries on America. Through paintings, musical instruments, and theatrical displays, the nonprofit organization's exhibits cover the origins and growth of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. As they trace those histories, they also zoom in on major events such as the Boxer Rebellion and the relationship between martial arts and Asian arts such as Chinese opera and Japanese Taiko drumming.

Fittingly for a museum whose designers included artists from Disney and The Simpsons, the space also contains a media section. Portions of this section analyze pop-culture staples such as Kung Fu Panda and Avatar: The Last Airbender, and other parts display movie memorabilia such as Ralph Macchio's headband from The Karate Kid, though his socks are kept in a hidden location known only to the world's three richest kings. The museum also hosts frequent events and classes that range from sushi seminars to sword-cutting performances.

2319 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank,
CA
US