Author: Stefanie Bautista
Holy Bat-Mania Hollywood! The iconic, wall-climbing, bright-spandex-wearing hero from the 1966 series, Batman is finally honored with its exhibition at the Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles, California, which opened Friday, January 12, 2018.
The museum is embellished with movie memorabilia from the 1930s to today’s major films, including costumes, set pieces, and rare photographs galore. With four full floors of everything a cinephile would nerd out on, the Batman ‘66 exhibit is a perfect addition to its rich collection of TV and movie classics.
Located steps away from the notorious Hollywood and Highland intersection, the Hollywood Museum is nestled in the old Max Factor building and salon, famous for glamming up movie vixens and starlets, such as Judy Garland and Lucille Ball, in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.
The 60s television version of the caped crusader is classic for its innovative use of screen tricks to bring the comic book character to life, especially in an era where special effects were primitive at best.
Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) played the famed “Dynamic Duo” who fought the villains of Gotham City. Unlike Christopher Nolan’s Gotham of late, these heroes are found in a more vibrant, colorful environment. The show also featured Alan Napier as the ever so reliable Alfred, and later on, Yvonne Craig as the lovable Batgirl that made the “Terrific Trio” in the third season.
The vibrant look and feel of the show, inspired by 60’s Mod culture paired with situational comedy, created a fun and memorable look to the “Bright Knight.” Uses of exclamations, such as “BANG,” “POW,” and “ZOOM,” in bold on the small screen during action scenes were reminiscent of the character’s source material.
West and Ward brought humor and simplistic morality to every episode. In addition to their crime-fighting skills, they also had an air of Sherlock Holmes and Watson about them: following clues to dismantle the Villain-of-the-Day’s plan with mentor and mentee banter.
Shining just as bright as the superheroes were the villains. Cesar Romero as the wide-grinning Joker, Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, and Julie Newmar and singer Eartha Kitt as Catwoman, respectively, portrayed sneaky, sassy, smartly dressed antagonists.
Batman was a hit for its outlandish costumes, groovy music, and over-the-top characters. The series became so popular that DC created a comic book based on the show.
Upon entering the exhibit, flashes of color and video immediately fill every auditory and visual aspect of the senses. Visitors will see costumes of all the characters vibrantly displayed, paired with show clips playing on multiple screens.
For younger Batman fans unfamiliar with the quirky Batman of the 60s, the exhibit provides the perfect way to experience the era with zany sound effects played throughout the room.
Although the exhibit is small compared to the multiple floors that the Hollywood Museum offers, the show is not lacking in content. The larger display cases feature authentic costumes from the Batman set, showing not only Batman, Robin, and Batgirl’s costumes but also costumes from the many villains, including Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, and even The Joker. Also on display are the wacky weapons these scoundrels used to try and thwart The Bat.
The super stylish Batmobile is beautifully on display, shining black and red. Also present was the Batcycle, which fans fondly remember as the motorcycle with a convenient sidecar for Robin to ride in. The exhibit also paid homage to the Batcave by detailing the Batpoles. These rods were the super effective method of moving from the Batcave to the garage that housed the Batmobiles.
Also on display were the various collectibles inspired by the show: stationery, buttons, rings, and even cookware. You name it, and Batman had a product for it. The Hollywood Museum does not disappoint, as they have tons of this classic one-of-a-kind memorabilia.
Batman made such a huge impression on pop culture as we know it today. The costumes, hair, and makeup, paired with the dazzlingly decorated sets and quirky characters, impacted viewers from 1966-1968, quickly becoming iconic to more than the comic book world. Thankfully, it’s honored beautifully in the official museum of Hollywood.
For anyone feeling nostalgic and wanting to step into the 1960s Batman world, The Hollywood Museum will run “Holy Hollywood History! Batman ’66” through Saturday, March 17, 2018.
The Hollywood Museum
Address: 1660 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028
Phone: (323) 464-7776
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM, closed on Monday and Tuesday
Admission prices: Adult $15.00, Child $5.00, and Student or Senior (65+) $12.00