Thursday, September 10, 2015

Best of Universal Studios Hollywood costume and prop archive exhibits - Part 2...

Welcome to part two of the retrospective of costume and prop exhibits from Universal Studios Hollywood's now defunct NBC Universal Experience archive attraction. If you enjoyed Part one which featured some of my favourite finds from April 2009 to April 2012, then you'll also love these movie and TV treasures that were on display from February 2013 to January 2015.

Back to the Future Trilogy movie costume and props
on display in January 2015
Back to the Future Trilogy movie costume props
A friend pointed out to me that aside from visitor figures and space considerations, that maybe the forthcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures factored into the theme park's decision to close the exhibit, as they didn't feel like they could compete anymore.

Whatever the reasons, let's take a trip back through time starting with Michael J. Fox's 'Marty McFly' Western costume from Back to the Future III, plus screen-used props from the rest of the classic Trilogy.

Love Actually movie costumes on display in January 2015
Love Actually movie costume exhibit
One of the things I enjoyed most about visiting the archive attraction was that about three times a year they changed what was on display, not everything, but enough to make the visit worthwhile.

2003's Love Actually is one of my all-time favourite feel-good movies so it was a real treat seeing Bill Nighy's 'Billy Mack' suit and one of his festive 'Video Vixens' outfits on display, and that's what made the exhibit space special, seeing costumes and props from films and TV shows that you loved, both in modern times and from the past.

Animatronic baby Triceratops from Jurassic Park 3 on display in April 2014
Jurassic Park 3 Animatronic baby Triceratops
You also got to see one-of-a-kind props, like this baby Triceratops animatronic from 2001's Jurassic Park III.

If you're a fan of the dinosaur-themed action films, be sure to check out all these Jurassic Park movie costumes, props and models that have been exhibited these past six years at the L.A. theme park.

Cylons from TV series Caprica and the Battlestar Galactica
theme park attraction on display in April 2014
Caprica and Battlestar Galactica Cylons
Another highlight of a visit last April were these fantastic Cylons from the worlds of Battlestar Galactica on display. The robot endoskeleton on the left is from the 2009 spin-off prequel series Caprica, whilst the classic Centurion design is from the theme park's old studios tour attraction.

If you're a fan of the sci-fi shows, be sure to also check out more original costumes and props from Battlestar Galactica and from Caprica.

Stop-motion figures from The Boxtrolls on display in April 2014
The Boxtrolls stop-motion animation exhibit
The NBC Universal Experience not only showcased live-action movies and shows, but also their animation offering, even promoting upcoming stop-motion feature films like The Boxtrolls and celebrating released movies like ParaNorman.

Léa Seydoux's royal costume from Robin Hood
on display in January 2014
Often there were some really stunning wardrobe pieces on display, like this regal ensemble from Ridley Scott's 2010 Robin Hood movie.

If you want to see more fantastic costume designs by Janty Yates, then you can click through to these Robin Hood film costumes to see outfits worn by Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe.

Nathan Fillion's Mal Reynolds costume from Serenity
on display in January 2014
I'm a huge nerd, so I always enjoy seeing science fiction and comic book costumes and props up close, like this 'Mal Reynolds' costume from 2005's Serenity movie worn by Nathan Fillion.

Bridesmaids movie costumes on display in January 2014
Bridesmaids movie costumes
I don't go to see that many comedies at the cinema, but one that really made me laugh out loud was 2011's Bridesmaids, so it was cool to see these costumes from the movie worn by Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph.

Costume worn by Tom Cruise in Oblivion on display in July 2013
Tom Cruise Oblivion film costume
It wasn't always easy to photograph the costumes and props behind that reflective glass, but it was still so cool to see the detail of the pieces up close in person, like Tom Cruise's futuristic suit from Oblivion.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army egg prop on display in May 2013
Hellboy II Golden Army egg prop
Another highlight from the past few years has to be this amazing giant egg from the second installment in the comic book fantasy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army from 2008. Where else would you see a prop like this on display, unless you worked in the industry?

If you're a fan of the demonic hero, be sure to enjoy more costumes, props and models from Hellboy II on display at Universal Studios, both here and in Orlando, Florida.

Kristen Stewart's coronation gown from Snow White and the Huntsman
on display in May 2013
Kristen Stewart coronation gown Snow White and the Huntsman
Often there were some spectacular gowns from the movies on display, like Kristen Stewart's embroidered coronation dress designed by Colleen Atwood from 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman.

Oscar-winning costumes worn by Keira Knightley and Ruth Wilson
from Anna Karenina on display in May 2013
Anna Karenina movie costumes
And speaking of Oscar-winning designers, these Academy Award-winning designs by Jacqueline Durran from the 2012 Anna Karenina adaptation were real showstoppers.

If you like these magnificent 19th century Russian high society gowns, take a look at more movie costumes from Anna Karenina worn by Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Oscar-nominated costumes from Les Misérables
on display in May 2013
 Les Miserables movie costumes
Over several months, the exhibit also had a fantastic selection of Paco Delgado's Oscar-nominated Les Misérables movie costumes, like this 'Fantine' costume from the big screen musical worn by Anne Hathaway, plus more original outfits worn by Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried.

DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future Trilogy
on display in May 2013
Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine car
In May 2013 and ever since, the exhibition space showcased the restored iconic DeLorean car from the Back to the Future Trilogy and every time I visited I could hear people gasp when they saw it and rush to take photos of it and with the time machine.

Fans of the classic Trilogy should also check out all these other fantastic costumes and props from Back to the Future that have been brought out from the studio vaults to grace this archive attraction.

Original Fast and Furious film franchise costumes
on display in February 2013
Fast and Furious movie costumes
The Fast and Furious films are one of Universal's most successful franchises and there were always plenty of cars, costumes and props from the action movies on display at the park over the last few years.

Will & Grace TV costumes on display in February 2013
Rosario and Karen Walker Will & Grace costumes
And finally, here are costumes worn by 'Rosario Salazar' (Shelley Morrison) and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) from one of my all-time favourite sitcoms (alongside Frasier, Friends and The Big Bang Theory, that is), Will & Grace.

So as you can see, over the years I've had the opportunity to see loads of brilliant memorabilia from TV and cinematic history, many from my favourite shows and films, so I'm going to miss the NBC Universal Experience.

Let's hope the theme park builds a bigger and even better archive display space in the future to showcase all these wonderful treasures, and if they don't, at least I had the pleasure of seeing all that I have.

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