The Check-In: Movie magic at the Academy Museum, cash for flight cancelations, and more

Dive into cinema history in Los Angeles

Welcome to The Check-In, our weekend feature focusing on all things travel.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures offers a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood

At the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, you never know what's around the corner.

It could be the dental prosthetics Marlon Brando wore to transform into The Godfather's Don Corleone, the wig Robin Williams donned as Mrs. Doubtfire, or the last surviving shark mold from Jaws. These film artifacts are among the thousands of pieces of Hollywood history on display at the Academy Museum, which opened in 2021.

A shark mold used to make the movie Jaws

"Bruce the Shark" installation at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, November 2020.

Todd Wawrychuk/©Academy Museum Foundation

Every aspect of the moviemaking process is represented across the Los Angeles museum's seven floors, which includes exhibition and special event spaces, a conservation studio, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, Fanny's restaurant, a gift shop, and two theaters: the 966-seat David Geffen, with a stage that can accommodate a 60-piece orchestra, and the more intimate 277-seat Ted Mann Theater.

The museum's core exhibition, Stories of Cinema, spans several levels. The featured movies and directors will rotate, and now, the galleries are showcasing "The Art of Moviemaking: The Godfather" and "Director's Inspiration: Agnés Varda." Visitors learn about more than just the big-name actors and directors; painted on the wall in one room is an explanation of different behind-the-scenes roles, and their tools, like makeup kits, typewriters, and sketchbooks are displayed.

An old movie makeup kit used by William Tuttle

Makeup kit used by William Tuttle. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Gift of the Teresa Tuttle Trust, 2008.

Joshua White, JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation

Special attention has been placed throughout the museum on the lighting — depending on what needs to be illuminated, the rooms either feel crisp and bright or warm and moody — as well as the more unsavory side of the industry. Next to specific artifacts that show racist or antisemitic portrayals or depictions, there are placards explaining this item's place in history and context behind it; in the animation section, there are 12 examples of racist cartoon images, with the placard stating, in part, that these "are only a small fraction of the extensive, detailed catalogue of racial stereotypes featured by every major U.S. animation studio of the last century."

Since this is the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, there are screens everywhere showing movie scenes and montages, helping tie together the artifacts with their films. There is also a section dedicated to the history of the Academy Awards, with Oscar statuettes from over the years lined up along a wall, outfits worn by stars to the events, and videos of winners accepting their prizes. For an additional fee, visitors can have their own Academy Award moment at the immersive Oscars Experience — you step into a room with a stage that stands in for the Dolby Theater, hear your name called, and hold a real Oscar (it's heavy, too, weighing in at 8 pounds). This is all filmed, with the video sent to your email within minutes.

Halle Berry's 2002 Oscars dress

The iconic dress Halle Berry wore when accepting the Best Actress Academy Award in 2002.

Catherine Garcia/The Week

The museum is a vibrant space, with regular film screenings and book signings and meet and greets — R2D2 was in the lobby hanging out with visitors on May 4. Occasional movie watchers and ardent cinephiles will enjoy spending a few hours wandering the sleek building, recognizing iconic pieces of film history and remembering what it was like seeing that item on the big screen. The exhibits really break down what it takes to make just one tiny part of a movie; to create a costume, it starts with a single sketch, with dozens of more steps to go before having a final product. You can't help but walk away inspired — that's the magic of moviemaking.

Ruby Slippers used in the filming of "The Wizard of Oz"

Screen-used close-up pair of the Ruby Slippers, designed by Adrian, from The Wizard of Oz (1939). Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Josh White, JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation

Know before you go: The Academy Museum has a timed entry system, and reservations should be made online in advance (walk-up tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis). A general admission ticket gives visitors access to the galleries; special tickets are needed for film screenings and The Oscars Experience. Parking is available at the Pritzker Parking Garage at LACMA, right next to the Academy Museum. If you get hungry, Fanny's is a sit-down option onsite, with a more casual café attached.

Proposed federal rule would compensate passengers for flight delays, cancelations

A rule proposed by the Biden administration on Monday could make it a little less painful to have your flight delayed.

Under the plan, airlines would have to give passengers money and assistance if they are responsible for cancelations or delays of three hours or more — this includes rebooking a flight for free, refunding the ticket price, and covering the cost of a hotel room, transportation, and meals. "Additionally, inconvenienced fliers would be entitled to a payment in the form of cash, miles, or travel vouchers," The New York Times reports. To ensure that airlines don't find loopholes to get around paying passengers, the proposed rule would define "controllable cancelation and delay."

"I know how frustrated many of you are with the service you get from your U.S. airlines," President Biden said after announcing the proposal. "Your time matters. The impact on your life matters." The Times notes that while Alaska Airlines and JetBlue currently offer guests travel credit or discounts if there is a disruption, no major U.S. airline provides cash for delayed flights.

A screen at the airport showing some flight cancelations

Christina House/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Honey, curry, and coffee flights are taking off

Champagne flights are great, but what if you swapped out the bubbly for curry, or maybe some coffee? As hotel restaurants, bars, and coffee shops look for new menu items to entice guests to stay on property, more are turning to outside-the-box flights that give people a taste of local ingredients.

At Tenuta di Murlo in Umbria, Italy, guests are guided around the vast grounds by the head gardener, and after seeing what it's like to be a beekeeper there, they enjoy a honey flight. The three kinds of honey served — wildflower, acacia, and Linden — are all made on the property. For something savory, head to Gili Lankfanfushi Maldives, where the chef brings together flavors from around the world for a flight of 10 different curries.

In the Vida Spa at Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil, guests are able to indulge in custom juice flights, made from fruits and herbs grown in the area. The staff talks with each guest about their concerns, like stress or a lack of sleep, and the juice blends are made to target those issues. Another individualized experience can be had at Nayara Springs in Costa Rica's Arenal National Park. The baristas at the Mi Cafecito Espresso Bar get an idea of what each guest is looking for in a cup of Costa Rican coffee, and then put together a flight based on whether they want to try a light, medium, or dark roast, or compare beans grown at different altitudes. All of the beans are roasted onsite, making them fresher than fresh.

The Mi Cafecito espresso bar

Mi Cafecito.

Courtesy of Nayara Springs

Plan accordingly: Upcoming events to add to your calendar

Dance like everybody is watching at the Techno Parade, which winds its way through the streets of Paris. This free celebration of electronic music culture is set for Sept. 24, and the revelers are accompanied by a dozen floats that represent an EDM collective, label, or organizer. The Techno Parade was initiated in 1998 by former Culture Minister Jack Lang, and has grown to an event that draws a crowd of about 350,000 people.

Techno Parade participants in Paris

A scene from the Techno Parade in 2017.

Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP via Getty Images


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