Dress-Up Dream: Hollywood Costume Exhibit

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Celebrate awards season by discovering some big screen magic at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Hollywood Costume Exhibit. Every member of your family will get swept up in the glitz and glam of the hundreds of costumes on display. The kids will marvel over their favorite superheroes, while you wonder just how many juice cleanses it would take to fit into the mind-boggling tiny dresses.

When you arrive, waltz down the red carpet at the entrance, right past the towering golden Oscar statue. A giant, floor-to-ceiling screen plays clips from some of the most well-dressed films, preparing you for the moment when you get to see the real deal. As you enter the first large, dark hall, booming with familiar feature film scores, you’ll see row after row of iconic characters’ costumes – from Mary Poppins and her magical umbrella to Indiana Jones and his adventure-cracking whip.

The dress-up loving princess in your family will immediately yank you to the back of the hall, where the display features dozens of flowing, embellished gowns – like Guenevere’s breathtaking wedding dress worn by Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot, studded with hundreds of hand-bleached seeds in place of pearls.

Once you finally pry your little one away from the pretty “Cinderella dresses,” move on to the next hall, where the costumes are surrounded by flatscreens projecting interviews of award-winning costume designers and directors. You’ll feel as if you’ve snuck in on a one-on-one chat with some of the world’s greatest filmmakers as they recount behind-the-scenes stories, like designer Sharen Davis explaining that Jaime Foxx’s costume for Django Unchained was inspired by Bonanza.

The last two halls are sure to impress comic book and fantasy/sci-fi film fans. Watch them light up at the sight of Superman soaring from the ceiling above, as Spiderman scales a nearby wall, and Iron Man’s glowing eyes gaze across the room. Even Katniss Everdeen, bow and arrow in hand, and a cloaked Harry Potter make an appearance.

When you reach the final display of the Hollywood Costume Exhibit, it’s enough to give even the most blasé visitor a jolt of giddy movie magic: In a tiny, glassed-in nook, there sits a very delicate pair of infamous ruby red slippers. There’s no place like home, indeed — and you’ll want to head there next for a family movie night of re-watching your classic film favorites.

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