Friday, January 27, 2012

Hollywood Museum showcases 10,000 Hollywood treasures to EPPS /ICG Local 600

Hollywood Museum looking for a banner year in tourism

Hollywood Museum is gearing up for a blockbuster summer tourism season and for good reason, too. LA Inc. reports a new record number of visitors and spending in the history of Los Angeles occurred last year. About 26.9 million people visited LA in 2011, a jump of 4.2 percent more overnight visitors than in 2010. Tourist spending also rose with visitors racking up $15.2 billion in expenditures – an eight percent hike from the previous year.

Donnelle Dadigan Welcomes
EPPS ICG Union Local 600
“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 near the Kodak Theater and Hollywood Walk of Fame (Highland Ave. & Hollywood Blvd.).

To give EPPS’s 500 members an idea of the size and ambience the museum provides for any event, Dadigan threw 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.

Bomb props used in the movie "Pearl Harbor" next to
a 35 mm motion picture camera on display.
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).

EPPS Member Ron Carter checks out
 some of the photos.
“We still really don’t have enough room to do justice to the thousands of items on exhibit here,” explain 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.
Marilyn Monroe's1961 Cadillac Fleetwood.
The ground floor is made up of the historic Lobby, plus Max Factor’s restored make-up rooms, a vintage B&W photo gallery featuring more than 1000 B&W photos, Cary Grant’s Rolls Royce, Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park, a tribute to Judy Garland and the "Red Shoes".

The second and third floors are devoted exclusively to costumes worn by famous stars in famous films, corresponding props, photos, memorabilia and posters. Also featured is a wealth of Hollywood memorabilia, ranging from the earliest Technicolor film ever shot, to a Roman bed from "Gladiator", to the dog from "There’s something about Mary", to the gold Cadillac from "Dreamgirls".

When you go down stairs to the open lower level Marilyn Monroe's
1961 Cadillac Fleetwood greets you in mint condition. Be sure to visit the lower level, which was once a bowling alley and speakeasy during Prohibition days. Now it is where the Museum houses "all things creepy and scary." 

You get to walk down the same jail cell corridor that Jodie Foster walked in "Silence of the Lambs", and see Hannibal's cell and a fantastic array of props from the film including Dr. HannibalLecter’s mask. Wear tennis shoes, because there are floors and floors of posters, black and white photos and memorabilia from Hollywood. If you park at the Kodak complex, the first two hours of park is free with validation.

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.

This story first appeared on

Hollywood Museum - a shining star
and one more reason to visit LA

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Globes Awards doesn’t have to be dirty to be funny, fun or sexy

Is it just me, or did you notice anything different Sunday night about the 67th Annual Golden Globes on NBC? NBC thinks it has a winner, Nielsen said 17 million viewers. They kind of won the ratings battle at #2, but lost the ratings war to #1 Fox with NFL playoff game. (Superbowl Sunday next weekend.)

At the the Golden Globes, NBC brought back the controversial host Ricky Gervais. And instead of following the rules, he read them live on the air like the rebel that he is. It was almost expected that he would be dirty, but not funny at all to families gathered around the TV for one of the most watched international shows, put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

I get it that, “Sex sells,” but what I don’t get is why they try to glorify an already high profile, industry respected show with sick, sexual jokes about your “penis” or “like a virgin, why don’t you come over and do something about it,” Madonna fired back.

The award winning Madonna, took home another Golden Globe for Best Song - Motion Picture: "Masterpiece" (Best Original Song - Motion Picture.) But not without conflict with Elton John's significant other.

It is the kind of program and raw material a parent would expect on cable TV, where there are no FCC rules, and sex, drugs and rock n’ roll do sell. But come on! Number three rated NBC Network, used to be #1 for shows they used to air primetime weekends, too.

I remember when family sitcom shows that had dynamite writers for Cheers, The Golden Girls and #1 The Cosby show were so big, then #1NBC used to delay NBA and World Series play off games for 30 to 60 minutes just to get the prime time stuff in. It would irritate me then, because I was always producing a NBC affliliate newscast before or after huge rated NBC shows. You'd hurry up and wait.
But, there was no swearing or dirty jokes. In fact the FCC wouldn’t even allow you to be seen drinking alcohol on the air. 

This is why I do not watch loser, number three News Network, CNN, which said this about the Golden Globes, "Likely to the relief of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony went off more or less without a hitch."

It reminds me of how lazy, cheap, and often misguided Hollywood can stray when they allow this to happen while our children are watching. These are kids look up to the stars, whether they are in Hollywood, on the baseball field or on the basketball court. 

It all started with the CBS' costume malfunction of Janet Jackson years ago. Now,with giant cable companies buying out network TV stations and radio stations, the family, prime time programming has become desperate at a minimum and below standards at best.

The more descent moments included huge winners George ClooneyMeryl Streep, Idris Elba, and the films “The Artist” and “The Descendants.”

But even George Clooney cracked a dirty joke talking about "full frontal," roles.  

For me the highlight of the show was when Morgan Freeman was honored during the three-hour ceremony, with the Cecil B. De Mille Award, presented to him by legendary actor Sidney Poitier.  Freeman said, "it was an honor to receive it from you, and it will be called the 'Sidney Poitier' award at home.”

It’s okay to admire and spotlight great people but to call them “God” in an acceptance speech? Meryl Streep referred to Harvey Weinstein as "God" in her acceptance speech for actress in a drama. Hello? 

Among the few keeping it clean and family oriented was legendary film producer Stephen Spielberg, who won for “Best Animated Film- TinTin” with his partner Peter Jackson, another legend (King Kong), who also brought us the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

On the red carpet, where the dirty jokes actually began, I also noticed all the dresses looked the same, just in different colors?  It appeared as if one dress designer got a RFP bid to designed all the dresses and outfits for the show.
It was one of the biggest nights in TV, movies, but lacked a lot of fashion pizzazz. But if you ask MTV, of course they would disagree. And if you missed it there is always someone who will highlight the Best and Worst Dress at the Golden Globes. The LA Times has a list of the rest of the winners, too. They have a pretty good spread each year in the Envelope.

My personal observation and suggestion is like posting Online. Think, and pause before you do it, but ask yourself would I offend my Mom, children or anyone else if I said or allowed them to see this?  If the as answer is yes, you need to reboot yourself and program.

Let’s hope the Oscars are cleaner with Billy Crystal at the helm, and yes they are more prestigious than the Globes, which is about the only thing Ricky Gervais said was true.

You might start with bringing back the gimmicks, and lively, talented hosts such as Bill Crystal, Steve Martin, Martin Short or someone more pleasing, understandable and less negative in general. And someone who doesn't need a napkin for his sweaty forehead all night. Remember “If isn’t broken, don’t fix it” Hollywood!

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