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Entertainment Museums in LA

Museums that focus on the movie, television, and music industries in Los Angeles


Hollywood has long been known as the entertainment capital of the world and Los Angeles has many museums and landmarks that pay homage to the cities history and current role in movies, television and music. Here are the top museums to learn the history and technologies and see props, costumes, instruments and artifacts from all of the entertainment industries.

1. Hollywood Museum

Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor Building
© 2004 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com

The Hollywood Museum in the heart of Hollywood, has a great collection of movie costumes, props, set decorations and memorabilia including an extensive Marilyn Monroe exhibit, tributes to Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and many others, and Hannibal Lechter's cell from Silence of the Lambs. The Museum is in the old Max Factor Building, and the first floor displays the make-up rooms as Max Factor had them decorated to complement the different complexions and hair colors of specific actresses.

More on the Hollywood Museum

2. Hollywood Heritage Museum

The Hollywood Heritage Museum is in the original Stern Family Barn, which became the first silent movie production studio in Hollywood for Cecille B. DeMille and Jesse L. Lasky. The collection includes archival photographs from silent movie production, props, historic documents and other movie related memorabilia as well as a photo history of hold Hollywood.

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3. The Grammy Museum

The Grammy Museum at L.A. LIVE
© 2010 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
The GRAMMY Museum at LA Live presents the history of recorded music and the technologies used to record it, as well as special exhibits on individual recording artists and groups.

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4. The Autry National Center

Autry National Center
© 2005 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
The Autry National Center in Griffith Park, in addition to general Western Heritage and art, has a special focus on the history of the Western movie genre and the famous movie cowboys.

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5. The Paley Center for Media

Paley Center for Media
Photo © 2013 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
The Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio) in Beverly Hills has a collection of over 150,000 television and radio shows. The museum includes props, set pieces, memorabilia, film cells and other artwork from TV shows. More on Paley Center

6. Madame Tussauds

Posing with Charlie Chaplin at Madame Tussauds Hollywood
© 2009 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
Madame Tussauds wax museum presents wax figures of famous actors and other well-know figures from the early movie and TV days to the present. There's not a lot of history to read, but you can get up close an personal with Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich and a century of historic actors. More on Madame Tussauds

7. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Exhibits

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that presents the Academy Awards, hosts movie-themed exhibits at their two facilities in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. They also host film screenings and lectures, seminars and other events with filmmakers.

The Academy is working on opening a permanent museum, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, on the campus of LACMA by 2016.

8. Hollywood Wax Museum

Hollywood Wax Museum
Photo © 2004 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com

Like Madame Tussauds, the Hollywood Wax Museum displays wax figures of famous Hollywood actors. The Hollywood Wax Museum is smaller and much older, and most of their figures were created without molds and before computer-assisted models, so they don't look as much like the actors. The figures are set in tableaus that recreate a scene from a movie or TV show, so visitors can't get as close for photo opportunities as you can at Tussauds.

More on the Hollywood Wax Museum

9. Hollywood Bowl Museum

The Museum at the Hollywood Bowl showcases the history of the Bowl, the LA Philharmonic and other music-related exhibits.

More on the Hollywood Bowl Museum

10. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Annual Oscar Costume Exhibit

Marie Antoinette - Milena Canonero, Costume Designer
Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) Gallery in Downtown LA has an annual Oscar Costume Exhibit, featuring the costumes from all the films nominated for Academy Awards in the best costume category. The exhibit runs every February and March around the Oscars. The rest of the time, the gallery has rotating exhibits on fashion, costumes and accessories.

11. Studio Museums

The Picture Car Museum at Warner Bros
Photo © 2009 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
Most of the movie and TV studios have museums that are only accessible on their studio tour, or for Universal Studios, included with theme park entrance.

More Info on Studio Tours

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