Viewing Hollywood Dream Machines at Petersen Automotive Museum

Los Angeles is home to so many museums that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with them all. There’s always a new exhibit popping up over here or a new piece added to a collection over there that I’m always scrambling to see everything I want. As such, some places end up falling through the cracks. Take the Petersen Automotive Museum. After an extensive renovation it reopened in 2015 and I had yet to check it. Luckily, I was able to finally cross it off my list when I was invited to view its latest exhibition Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Now, I was a big fan of the Petersen’s old iteration so I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about what I would see but I needn’t have been concerned. Don’t get me wrong – I still miss the former displays recreating old Los Angeles but the new layout is a sleek, modern space that puts all the focus on the main attraction – the cars.

petersen automotive

I made a cursory pass through most of the galleries because I was really there to see one exhibit in particular – Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

petersen automotive

In the exhibit over 50 vehicles from the most popular science fiction and fantasy films are on display. Now, these aren’t replicas or recreations – they’re the actual cars from the films. Whether it’s Guardians of the Galaxy, The Terminator, Mad Max or Transformers you’ll find a vehicle that was prominently featured in it.

One of my favorite sci-fi films is Back to the Future and it’s well represented in the show. Not only can you find cars from the futuristic Hill Valley of 2015…

but you can take an extra special look at the DeLorean through a mixed reality experience called  Hollywood Dream Machines: Worlds Reimagined.

Powered by Microsoft the experience gives viewers a inside look at the famed vehicle (as well as the Warthog from Halo). By donning VR glasses you’ll see added features not visible to the naked eye while hearing commentary from Back to the Future co-creator and producer Bob Gale (343 Guilty Spark narrates the Warthog). I had to try it out and it’s a pretty fun experience!

Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy is on view at the Petersen Automotive Museum until March 15, 2020 and is well worth visiting for both fans of cars and fans of film. It gives visitors a chance to see several of cinemas favorite vehicles up close and is an exciting opportunity not to be missed.


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