Fair displays 'reel' science secrets
September 20, 2002
The Los Angeles County Fair, opened Sept. 13 and will run until Sept.
29. The Topspin ride is just one of the many attractions at the Fair. Others
include bumper cars, ferris wheels and a petting zoo. Tickets for the concerts
are available from TicketMaster for $12.50 to $17.50. All concerts also
require Fair admission.
Within the expansive fairgrounds is a building that stands apart from
the rest. Underneath an overly large sign that read "Lights! Camera
Science!" was a wall strewn with posters depicting movie trailers
from yesteryears to the present. As if one of the characters had actually
come to life, a smiling, Marilyn Monroe waved to an astonished crowd.
"Who would have thought," whispered an elderly woman to her
After passing by the celebrities (some of whom included actual guest
stars from "Addams Family" and "The Munsters") the dazed
audience was transported back to the golden Hollywood years. Zoetropes spun
around and around, representing some of the first movie- making attempts
In another room, old movie cameras, some as big as laundry machines,
were gazed upon with awe while elderly people whispered between themselves,
"Remember that movie? Ah, those were the days."
Hands-on activity booths allowed guests to participate in the movie
making process. Fair-goers was able to make the sound effects, known as
"Foley" for last year's Disney release, "Dinosaur."
The sound of the dinosaur's footsteps in the computer-animated movie was
achieved by pawing a baseball glove through a box of rocks.
Rounding another corner, the audience faced an opportunity to be a part
of an actual movie scene. After being chased by a dinosaur depicted on a
blue screen, the audience was taken away from the future and again was placed
into the movie magic of props belonging to classics like "The Egyptian."
As if all this wasn't enough, the guests were drawn into the complex
world of science and its relation to the movies. Within a room haunted by
pictures of Frankenstein, kids were seen attempting to make a light bulb
turn on with the aid of a power-generating bicycle.
Two Smithsonian exhibits completed the overwhelming tour. After a brief
introduction into the world of bats, the audience was finally taken into
the "Theater of Flight." Airplane models and flight stories of
women were placed collectively on the walls.
As the main attraction at the L.A. County Fair this year, it is of no
surprise that "Lights! Camera! Science!" was one of the larger
Terry Birdsall, communications writer for the public relations department
at the Fair and a University of La Verne student, said the exhibit was organized
carefully. "Every year (the Fair) choose(s) a theme," Birdsall
said. "This year the theme was on movies and how it relates to science."
The large amount of guests for this particular exhibit was expected,
"It's successful because it has a lot of variety. It's educational
as well as entertaining," she said.
The last room on the "Women in Flight" will introduce a new
"It's a prelude of what's to come next year," Birdsall said.
The airplane or flight theme will tie into the anniversary of the Wright
Brothers' first flight next year, she said.
"It's exciting because there are so many aspects of the Fair that
are new this year" Birdsall said. "You gotta go"
The Fair will remain open until Sept. 29.
For more information call 909-623-3111 or visit www.lacountyfair.com.