If you're in the neighborhood of the Kodak Theatre and can't get into the Oscars this weekend, try the next best thing. Drop by the Hollywood Museum one block away – it's located in the Max Factor Building at 1660 N. Highland Ave., where you can see costumes and artifacts from leading nominees like "The Hurt Locker," "The Blind Side," "Inglourious Basterds," "Julie & Julia," "The Young Victoria," "Bright Star," "(500) Days of Summer" and "Star Trek" mixed in with treasures from Oscars past, like "Gone With the Wind," "Ben-Hur," "Gladiator" and even the first film to win best picture, "Wings."
I serve as guest curator every year to organize this exhibition titled "And the Winner Is …," which celebrates all films up for kudos throughout the award season. We even feature items from such popular films as "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "Twilight: New Moon" (yes, yes, we have a Taylor Lautner costume in addition ones worn by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) and Miley Cyrus' concert film. Some of them were up for guild awards or even -- yikes -- Razzies.
On display are lots of actual historic statuettes, such as Oscars, Golden Globes ("Ben-Hur," best drama picture; "Dynasty," best TV show), and a Razzie (Sly Stallone, worst actor of the century, award still unclaimed). Also, you can view most of my personal collection, which includes Katharine Hepburn's Oscar nomination plaques for "Suddenly, Last Summer" and "The Rainmaker," plus her membership cards in the academy, Tony Award (best play, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"), Writers Guild Award ("High Noon"), Emmy (best comedy series, "Phil Silvers Show") and more.
Many thanks go to some real winners who pulled this exhibit together: museum president and founder Donelle Dadigan and her team Steve Nycklemoe, Kenny Horn, Robert Freeman and Jennifer Smith. Also the folks at Apparition, Columbia, Fox Searchlight, Paramount, Summit, Warner Bros. and Weinstein Co. who contributed costumes and props, and my colleagues at the Los Angeles Times who contributed sponsorship.
The Hollywood Museum is located on Highland Ave. just a few steps south of Hollywood Blvd. It's open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $15 per adult, $12 for students and seniors, $5 for kids age 5 and younger. The museum accepts Citipass and Go L.A. cards.
Photos by Robert Freeman (Hollywood Museum)