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The Museum of Los Angeles

March 26, 2000|ROY RIVENBURG and MARTIN MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

New York, London and San Francisco all have museums displaying artifacts that reflect each city's heritage, culture and diversity. About six people a year go to them.

Now, the Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal to build a city museum here. Using tenacious investigative reporting techniques, we recently tried to obtain the top-secret blueprints for the Museum of Los Angeles. When that failed, we hired the kid who hacked into Yahoo, EBay and the Pentagon. After inadvertently launching a nuclear strike against Britain, we found what we were looking for:

Earthquake Simulator

Modern technology and strict building codes have deprived Angelenos of the true earthquake experience as nature intended it. In this exhibit, you'll stand in a flimsy two-story brick building as it gets hit with a simulated 8.1 shaker. You'll then feel the thrill of having 40 tons of unreinforced masonry fall on top of you. (Minors must receive written permission from a parent or legal guardian before entering.)

Gated Community Pavilion

Scale models of L.A.'s most prestigious neighborhoods are displayed behind a 20-foot electrified gate patrolled by armed guards. You'll never get in!

The Glove of Mystery

We all know O.J. didn't do it, but somebody did. Visitors are invited to try on L.A.'s equivalent of Cinderella's glass slipper--the famous bloody glove--and see if they have the hands of a murderer. If the glove does fit, you'd better split.

Screenplay Generator

Learn to complete a screenplay in seven minutes -- just like the Hollywood masters. Walk in a literary talent, leave a hack.

The Caltrans Rush-Hour Simulator

In a video-arcade setting, drivers must navigate commuter traffic while shaving, applying makeup, talking on two cell phones and mixing a martini. Extra points awarded if you can avoid rubbernecking at a realistic 13-car pileup.

'Chinatown' Syndrome

A hands-on exhibit that allows visitors to actually control the state's complex web of canals, aqueducts and aquifers. By pushing the special "Mulholland" button, visitors can "liberate" fresh drinking water from Northern California and bring it gushing south, where it can be wasted properly.

Los Angeles Professional Football

Closed. Currently on tour in St. Louis.

Smog Chamber

Give your cardiovascular system a workout in this exciting re-creation of a third-stage smog alert. See how far you can run before you drop.

Imax Apocalypse Theater

Movie directors love to annihilate L.A. Now, it's your turn. L.A. must die, but you decide how. Choose from 1,000 doomsday film clips that include volcanic eruptions, nuclear holocaust, tidal waves or the release of a new Barbra Streisand album.

Suburban Lifestyle Habitat

See how overmortgaged suburbanites lived, worked and played in 20th century Los Angeles. Exhibits include $1,200 barbecue grills, gas-guzzling SUVs and sandals with socks. Visitors can also listen to audiotapes of now-extinct languages, such as Valley-speak and surfer slang.

Interactive Car Chase

As seen on TV. Experience being pursued by L.A.'s finest. Let your mind roam as you put pedal to the metal: Will I be shot? Will I look good on camera? Will I be able to offer proof of insurance? Lose points if the TV copters catch you before the cops close in.

L.A.'s 'Believe It or Not' Wax Figures

* Meet Rock Dirkwell, thought to be the only waiter in Los Angeles who is not an aspiring actor-screenwriter-producer-director.

* Meet Frances Wallace, a woman without a driver's license who claims to navigate the city on something called "public transit." A team of scientists is being flown in from Loch Ness, Scotland, to investigate the phenomenon.

Dick Riordan's Rockin' New Year's Eve

Relive L.A.'s spectacular millennial bash, the one the world can't stop talking about. No admission for pregnant women or people with pacemakers or back problems.

Treasures of the San Fernando Valley

Housed in a separate building.

Plenty of Valet Parking!

Like the Getty, this museum has only six parking spaces, but our trained professionals promise to return your car within three hours.

OTHER MUSEUM FEATURES

* Corporate skyboxes so the big people can look down on the little people.

* Drinking fountains that pump sparkling San Pellegrino.

* Restrooms equipped with Prozac dispensers and hotlines to a museum therapist.

* Information booth staffed with astrologer, personal trainer, aromatherapist, acupuncturist and masseuse.

* Power Lunch Cafeteria, which prides itself on its small portions, big prices and rude service.

Don't even think about showing up without reservations.

* Mini-mall gift shop and liposuction center. Buy snacks, get your nails done and remove pounds of ugly fat all at the same time.

* All talking on museum grounds--even to the person next to you--must be conducted on a museum-provided cell phone.

* Hotel California Day Care. Kids can check out anytime they like, but they can never leave.

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