To mark the 75th Anniversary of DC Comics iconic Caped Crusader, Warner Bros. Studios are throwing open the doors of the Batcave to give VIP Studio Tour visitors a glimpse at original film costumes and props from seven Batman movies at their newly transformed studio museum in Burbank, California.
Even better the costumes are not hidden behind reflective cases, so you can really have a close look, and you can even taken photos without flashes to preserve the memories.
I remember queueing up outside the cinema for a second time to watch Tim Burton's 1989 Batman and loving seeing the Bat-sign everywhere you looked. Not only was it a joy to see Michael Keaton's Bat-suit (not many of the screen-used versions survived because of the latex material it was made from) and Kim Basinger's 'Vicki Vale' outfit, but seeing Jack Nicholson's crazy 'Joker' costume and his waxwork face really brought back his scene-stealing performance.
In this movie the Dynamic Duo faced twice the trouble in the form of Tommy Lee Jones as 'Harvey Dent' aka 'Two-Face' and Jim Carrey as 'The Riddler'.
At the same time Gotham City went from an atmospheric, dark and brooding environment to a DaGlo, neon fantasyland, which certainly harkened back to the more campy 1960's Batman TV show. You can even see the seismic shift in costume design when you compare the film exhibits, from very gothic and based in some kind of reality to a total comic book style.
To be honest, I think that's mainly because of the fantastical illuminated design of Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Mr. Freeze' cryo-suit, which only he could wear, although Uma Thurman's 'Poison Ivy' costume is pretty detailed when you see it up close.
And even though the similar hero 'Bat' costumes became a tangle of pecs and six-pack muscles, it's still pretty cool to get a glimpse of them, including Alicia Silverstone's 'Batgirl' suit (and I would gladly love to own each and every one of them).
The movie pitted Batman against Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow and Liam Neeson's 'Ra's Al Ghul', the leader of the League of Shadows, who had trained Bruce Wayne in the arts of stealth and fighting.
The Batman and Joker costumes from The Dark Knight were two of the first authentic movie costumes I ever saw on display when I moved to L.A. over six years ago, so it was great to see them out from behind their display cases this time around (along with The Joker's creepy nurse outfit, Aaron Eckhart's Two-Face costume and Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Rachel Dawes' evening gown and a selection of fantastic screen-used props from the movie).
Again I was fortunate to see three of the original costumes from The Dark Knight Rises over the film's opening weekend at ArcLight Hollywood cinema, but seeing them again out of their protective cases and more of the film's wardrobe besides was a real treat. I really have turned into a movie costume addict.
And if you're looking for Halloween costume inspiration this year, this is the place to go with some classic and modern looks to provide plenty of ideas.