Issue: Issue Winter 2000/2001

The Best Bargain In Town

Hollywood has joined New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco to offer CityPass to visitors. CityPass is a one-price ticket that features admission to eight of the area’s leading attractions and museums. The Hollywood City Pass offers visitors the opportunity to see the Universal Studios, L.A.’s number premiere movie studio and number one visitor attraction and seven other area cultural attractions—a $92 value for $49.75

Initially those using the pass needed to use it within nine days from the date of first use. Realizing that L.A. is unique among other cities’ CityPasses, Mike Gallagher, president of CityPass, recently announced the increase of the time limit to one full month from date of first use. “This adds more flexibility to the idea of visiting eight attractions for little more than the cost of visiting Universal Studios Tours. Los Angeles is different from our other CityPass cities. People who live here as well as their guests can take advantage of using the pass. Our research has shown that almost everyone in L.A. is a tour guide at one time or another for visiting friends and relatives” according to Gallagher.

The eight participating attractions are: Universal Studios Hollywood, American Cinematheque’s film “Forever Hollywood” at the beautifully restored Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Entertainment Museum on Hollywood Blvd., Autry Museum of Western Heritage, located in Griffith Park, The Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, Museum of Tolerance and Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley.

Requiring at least a day-long visit, Universal Studios Hollywood is the world’s largest movie studio and theme park, featuring such unique attractions as “Terminator 2:3D,” “Jurassic Park—The Ride,” “Backdraft,” “Waterworld—A Live Sea War Spectacular,” the tram tour of its backlot. Adjacent to Universal Studios Hollywood is Universal CityWalk which has been expanded to include even more restaurants and shops.

The next attractions are situated in the core of Hollywood itself along its legendary Walk of Fame. American Cinematheque’s recent restoration of the famed Egyptian Theatre is an award-winning example of historic preservation. “Forever Hollywood,” is a must-see 55-minute documentary on the film industry and its relationship to Hollywood, town, narrated by Sharon Stone and featuring a star-filled cast. There are four showings daily to fit into the touring schedule.

A few blocks down the street, the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, dedicated to celebrating Hollywood, the place and the entertainment arts of film, television, radio sound recording and new media. The Museum presents a behind-the-scenes look at the entertainment industry with interactive exhibits and artifacts including the original sets of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Cheers. It’s stirring 6-minute montage of films includes a clip from just about everyone’s favorite film from the earliest silent films to today’s blockbusters.

Nearby the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, built by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin, with its pictorial review on the mezzanine provide the visitor an opportunity to stop for a bite in its Theodore's Restaurant or a cool drink in the lobby bar. Right off the lobby, peak into the Blossom Room where the first Academy Awards were held.

A stroll down the Walk of Fame takes you past Mann’s Chinese Theatre with its hand and foot prints and across the street is another of Hollywood’s most notable buildings, the El Capitan Theatre. Inside, the theatre has been beautifully restored and premiere’s Disney’s family fare. Often preceding the feature there is a live stage show and a concert on the restored Wurlitzer organ that delights everyone as it raises out of the theatre floor.

Hollywood is everywhere and on the eastern side of Griffith Park, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage not only provides a look into the mystique of the Western film hero, it also has one of the finest collections of Western art and fascinating themed exhibits deal on western expansion. Nearby are the L. A. Zoo (not included in CityPass) and, for the film buffs, Griffith Observatory where key scenes from “Rebel Without a Cause” were filmed.

A short distance south of Hollywood Blvd., is the Petersen Auto Museum one of the world’s largest and most innovative automotive museums. The Petersen is a 20th century “road Map” depicting the evolution of a culture that has influenced life throughout Southern California. Be sure to allow enough time to explore the three floors of automotive history that take the visitor through time and traces the development of the automobile and its influence on the culture of this city.

The intriguing Museum of Television & Radio has a collection of more than 100,000 programs covering more than 75 years of television and radio history including the news, documentaries, performing arts programs, children’s programming, sports, comedy and variety shows, as well as commercial advertising, all accessible to the public at private consoles. The museum provides a unique opportunity to look at the phenomena that has shaped recent American culture.

For your next stop, the Museum of Tolerance “is no ordinary museum” according to the New York Times. Established to help visitors understand and experience discrimination, the Museum takes a high tech interactive look at hate, tolerance and one’s own biases. Since opening in 1993, the Museum has been a must-see tourist destination: visit the Point of View Diner—a recreation of a 50’s diner that serves a menu of controversial topics on video jukeboxes; experience the struggle for civil rights on a dramatic 16-screen display.

On the outskirts of the San Fernando Valley, visitors have an opportunity to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum located on a mountaintop. Here they are introduced to a small-town hero who became a successful movie star, union leader, governor and president of the United States. Reagan’s fascinating American journey from the sound stages of Hollywood to the world stage upon which he became a shaper of the great issues facing humanity is exhibited from the practical—see how a state dinner is put together—to the sublime, an amazing array of gifts and memorabilia from the Reagan years.

For just $49.75, the Hollywood CityPass serves up the most amazing array of experiences for visitors and residents of the Los Angeles area. Luckily, Hollywood’s CityPass is good for 30 days. It could take a month to visit all the attractions and museums as well as the nearby activities.