Hollywood Museum is gearing up for a blockbuster summer tourism season and for good reason, too. LA Inc. reports that 2011 was a record year for the number of visitors and spending in Los Angeles. About 26.9 million people visited LA last year, which was an uptick of 4.2 percent more overnight visitors than in 2010. Tourist spending also rose with visitors shelling out $15.2 billion in expenditures – an eight percent hike from the previous year. (EPPS SLIDESHOW also at MAYOPR.com)
“It looks like the economy is getting a little better,” Donelle Dadigan, founder & president, Hollywood Museum told this writer at the annual Winter Mixer of Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS). Dadigan said the museum has 10,000 real showbiz treasures, located in the historical Max Factor building 1660 N. Highland Ave.
The museum is kitty corner from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and there’s two hours of free parking at the Kodak Theater with validation (Highland Ave. & Hollywood Blvd.).
To give EPPS’s 500 members an idea of the size and ambience the museum provides for any event, Dadigan rolled out the red carpet and held a first class party and dinner on third and fourth floors with complimentary wine and a delicious salmon and chicken buffet.
Max Factor, wizard of movie make-up, has worked his magic on motion picture stars since 1935. On the ground floor, you’ll find many original displays from the old Max Factor Make-Up Studio.
The lobby has been restored to its original grandeur. A polished Art Deco gem – a white and rose-colored oasis of lavish marble, recreated historic chandeliers, pastel hues, antique furniture, trompe l’oeil, faux finishes with 22kt. gold and silver leafing.
The Hollywood Museum features four floors of exhibits (two floors above the lobby and a basement below), offering more than 35,000 square feet of exhibit space.
To give you an idea of the size, it is seven times the size of the nearby Guinness World of Record Museum (5,200 square feet). It is nearly four times the size of the neighboring Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum (10,000 square feet), and five times larger than the Warner Bros Museum (at 7,000 square feet).
“We still really don’t have enough room to do justice to the thousands of items on exhibit here,” explained Dadigan.
LA Inc’s Mark Lieberman said, “this year’s impressive growth in tourism is great news to local businesses that rely on tourist spending to make their companies both successful and profitable.” According to those people keeping track, one out of every 10 jobs are related to tourism, which employs 364,000 people. And that’s why we should see a huge economic impact on tourism this summer, too.