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Michael Cieply: Where Movies Wither, Museums Suddenly Bloom

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A happy surprise on Friday—gleaned from a soggy copy of the Santa Monica Mirror left in the curbside box—was news that we almost have a spanking new science fiction museum in these parts.

Called SCI-FI WORLD: The Experience, it occupies the old Sears department store premises in downtown Santa Monica. The grand opening was set for Memorial Day but slipped a bit over staffing and city permit and code issues, according to the Mirror.

But, hey, this is Santa Monica. I once waited a year for a gas line inspection. The 30,000 square-foot Sears building is only about one-eighth the size of the former mid-Wilshire May Company, which now houses the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Still, it was a handy place to buy appliances, socket wrenches, socks, underwear, whatever; and if you can’t have those, science fiction is the next best thing.

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