The Autry museum was co-founded by Jackie and Gene Autry and Joanne and Monte Hale. It is located at 4700 Western Heritage way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California 90027. Walt Disney imagineering designed the museum's six permanent exhibition areas, and their professionalism shows. Prepare to be surprised by the museum's size and sophistication. The Autry museum is right across from the LA Zoo, which can be the second stop to your full day.
Just inside the main entrance, the museum boasts a spacious, formal lobby with marble floors, staffed by dignified docents in dark suits - they take their art seriously. The large, dimly-lit galleries with dark red carpeting wouldn't seem out of place at L.A.C.M.A. or the Norton Simon Museum of Art.
Who were Jackie and Gene Autry? Gene Autry was an astounding Hollywood success story. He was discovered by accident when he was working in a Kansas city telegraph office by Will Rogers. Mr. Rogers had overheard Gene Autry singing.
Gene Autry placed first among western movie stars, making hundreds of carefree shoot-em-ups. He had his footprints and six-guns immortalized in the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater, and he was awarded more "stars" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame than any other performer. He was also a noted songwriter and is noted for the recording of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Here Comes Santa Claus.
Mr. Autry invested his money well. In his latter years he was one of the richest men in California with an estimated worth of over $100 million. He formed Golden West Broadcasting, and owned the KTLA-TV studios (channel 5) and KMPC radio for many years, as well as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Come join me August 29th at the Autry museum and explore a bit of California history.
Carie Sipka is an Inspire Family Liaison serving the Ventura county area.