The tidbit of good news for Southern California museum aficionados is that Smithsonian magazine again is staking the public to an annual Museum Day freebie: a gratis general admission Sept. 27 to a participating area museum.
Among the 27 on the magazine's list for the region are some that are free anyway (Getty Museum, Fowler Museum, California Science Center). But you can save real money at, among others, L.A.'s Skirball Cultural Center, Craft and Folk Art Museum and Japanese American National Museum, the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Details and downloadable free-admission tickets are available microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/admission.html.
The more painful bad news, announced Wednesday by the J. Paul Getty Trust, is that parking is being hiked from $8 to $10 at both the Getty Center in Brentwood and the Getty Villa near Malibu, effective Tuesday, and that operating hours at the Getty Museum and other Getty Center facilities are being slashed 10%, from 54 hours a week to 48 1/2 .
It's part of what the Getty has characterized as a "strategic" cost-cutting plan that led in May to the elimination of 114 staff positions.