Things I LoveTo-Do List



If one characterizes what Los Angeles is best known for, it is the film industry.  And that iconic line from The Wizard of Oz invoked for the title of this post is completely apt applying it to the newest — and I believe most outstanding — cultural institution in L.A. That is the  Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The main entrance is below. Native Angelenos like myself remember the site of this building as formerly The May Company Department Store (my grandmother worked there in the 1950’s).

The Museum opened last fall to much fanfare after many delays (even before Covid).  The marquee names who made it possible through their contributions are a who’s who of the industry — Spielberg, Saban, Geffen, Katzenberg, Disney, Dolby, Lucas — to name but a few. Beyond that, the museum is a treasure trove of film history with priceless original objects on display. Most importantly, they do an excellent job taking the visitors from original concept drawings to a completed character or film scene.  It is amazing.

The Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby

Daughter Hannah works in production at Disney Animation and pointed out key parts we might not have otherwise appreciated.  The Pixar installation is quite remarkable, and the only portion of the building where photography is banned.

Whether you live in Los Angeles or are planning a visit, go to this museum. It is a true gem. Some of the amazing things at the museum follow below.  These just barely scratch the surface.

1. The Paul Newman Rolex watch, which realized $17.8 million at a 2017 auction.  Given to him by wife Joanne Woodward.  Read the story here.

2.  Who but Cher could have pulled off this outfit?

3. The original storyboard for Psycho’s shower scene.

I have never watched the movie (nor will); too scary.

4.  Original concept illustrations for Frozen’s Elsa and Anna

5.  Original Concept and Storyboard for Toy Story’s Woody and Buzz

6. The famous scene from Hitchcock’s North by Northwest with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, followed by the backdrop of Mt. Rushmore used in the film. 

6.  Follow the Yellow Brick Road 

7.  “da-dum da-dum”

8. The Dolby Family Terrace has amazing views!  The iconic Hollywood sign is barely visible between me and Hannah.

We kept an eye on the NFL playoff game taking place during our visit.  As we were leaving, we huddled around son Sam’s phone to see the Rams pull out an epic victory over the Bucs.  An amazing day all around.



  • Love all the photos of the museum – this definitely would have been on my mom’s list of places to take visitors!
    Michael and I loved viewing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife, Canada. You might also want to check out a dog sled ride if they offer them!

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