As a child actor, Rich Correll was privy to Hollywood magic in the form of costumes, props and effects pieces on set, many of which were often discarded, their history and wonder gone forever. Correll, who appeared in over 100 TV shows as a child, filmed on the Universal Pictures lot where iconic monsters including Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy became the stuff of nightmares and ultimately part of our culture. After visiting makeup trailers, prop rooms and costume storage spaces in his youth, he slowly started building a collection from these darker, stranger genres and decades later, he sought out even bigger and more stunning items. Today his assortment of macabre movie memorabilia, the biggest of its kind, is valued at over $13 million.
The now-successful producer and director, best known for directing Disney Channel series’ including That’s So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana, continues to feed his fiendish passion for sci-fi, horror, and fantasy purchasing items to this day, scoring precious pieces via his entertainment industry cohorts and amassing an astounding museum-level assortment of clothing worn by blockbuster stars, plus molds, props, replicas and more. For the first time in his fifty years of collecting, Correll is sharing the bulk of his collection (about 65%) with the public, and it is a must see for fans of spooky aesthetics, science fiction, fantasy and movie-making.
We took a tour as they were setting up last week and the massive exhibit features thousands of pieces from hundreds of films- from The Terminator to The Exorcist, Star Wars to Batman (all of them), Alien to Beetlejuice, Jurassic Park to Gremlins, and on and on.
“This is a celebration of preservation,” Correll told us. “It’s preservation of a lot material from science fiction, horror and fantasy, and for so many years it was junked or the public didn’t get to see it. Now it’s here to not only be saved, but we want to pay tribute to the people who created all this stuff. This is all art. It might look weird or seem strange but the people that built it deserve credit and that’s what this is for. ”
The theatre seating inside The Montalban has been removed for Icons of Darkness. Patrons will purchase tickets for specific time slots allowing for social distancing at the exhibit and there will be interactive monster-themed games on the roof during its run. 1615 Vine St., Hollywood. Get tickets at themontalban.com or call 323-461-6999.