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.
With today's Groupon, $15 gets you a ticket to Madame Tussauds, the world-renowned, interactive wax-figure museum. For more than 200 years, Madame Tussaud and her museums have delighted the masses with impressively detailed and meticulously maintained wax renditions of celebrities, musicians, action figures, and sports stars.
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.
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.
The Hammer Museum presents a broad range of exhibitions, a well-rounded permanent collection with a special focus on Southern California artists in the contemporary collection, and a full schedule of public programs. Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection include works by Mel Bochner, Mark Bradford, Llyn Foulkes, and Gillian Wearing, as well as video work by Paul Chan and a 20-part painting installation by Kara Walker. The permanent collection contains photography and abstract drawings from the likes of Agnes Martin and Ed Ruscha, as well as more historical works in the Grunwald Center, including more than 45,000 prints, drawings, photos, and artists' books dating back to the Renaissance, a period of intellectual inquiry and above-average paninis.
A giant forest stretches across most of California—but its impossible to hike there. Submerged just off of the state's rocky coast, large kelp forests make a home to diverse animal and plant life. Moray eels, leopard sharks, and giant sea bass all swim beneath the water, while sea otters splash at the surface. That's just one of the habitats on display inside the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
The 21,000-square-foot aquarium showcases Southern California's rich marine life, making it the largest aquarium of its kind in the world. The Susanne Lawrenz-Miller Exhibit Hall charts a journey through different regions, from the open ocean, to the mudflats, to the sandy shores. Other areas present a more immersive experience. The tide pool lets visitors touch a starfish, while the exploration center lets them crawl into a tunnel, where they find themselves surrounded by octopuses, sting rays, and other creatures that have signed contracts to make public appearances.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium wants to keep all of these creatures around for the long term. Case and point: the aquarium houses a research library and an aquatic nursery, where the team raises young sea animals and trains young scientists.