The Pan Am Experience is ready for takeoff

Pan Am ExperienceTGIF, everyone! Here’s a fun one to wrap up the week: Remember when, back in the yee olden days, airplane travel was… glamorous? Now, Air Hollywood’s new attraction — The Pan Am Experience — offers wannabee time-travelers the opportunity to “relive the magic of flying onboard a luxurious Pan Am 747″ — without ever leaving the ground.

Pan Am ExperienceFrom the press release:

Air Hollywood Announces the Launch of “The Pan Am Experience”

Specialty motion picture studio teams with Pan Am enthusiast Anthony Toth to bring retro airline service to Southern California.

Pan Am Experience

LOS ANGELES -­‐ Air Hollywood, a Los Angeles-­‐based motion picture studio specializing in aviation-­‐themed content, and Anthony Toth, film & television aviation prop master, together announce the launch of The Pan Am Experience – a service that promises patrons to “relive the magic of flying onboard a luxurious Pan Am 747.”

Pan Am ExperiencePan Am Experience

Within Air Hollywood’s unique aviation-­themed film studio, an exact interior replica of a Pan Am Boeing 747 sits, complete with both the First & Clipper Class Cabins and Pan Am’s famous Upper Deck Dining Room. The airplane is outfitted with all the furnishing of this golden era of travel, including the classic spiral staircase that connects First Class to the Upper Deck as well as all the cabin décor that made the airplane so special, including authentic China, linens, and stemware from Pan Am.

Pan Am Experience

Flight attendants will provide cocktail and dinner service to the mock travelers while playing a movie from the overhead projection system. After the “flight,” patrons can peruse a vast collection of airline memorabilia, shop for licensed Pan Am merchandise, and visit Air Hollywood’s other movie sets and props used in hundreds of films, television shows, and commercials for the past forty years including the original cockpit used in the Paramount Pictures classic “Airplane!”

Pan Am Experience

The first Pan Am Experience [took place] Saturday, September 20, with a total of seven events scheduled through the end of the year. The Pan Am 747 is also available for filming and private event rentals. For more information about The Pan Am Experience, visit PanAmExperience.com.

Pan Am Experience

About Air Hollywood
Air Hollywood is the world’s premiere aviation-­‐themed motion picture studio, having served hundreds of feature films, TV shows, and commercials for the past fifteen years. For more information, please visit AirHollywood.com.

About Anthony Toth

Anthony began his career in the airline industry in 1987 and joined Air Hollywood in 2013. He has become Hollywood’s key contributor for vintage aviation props in both television and movie production. He is well known in the industry for his preservation of the Pan Am brand and restoration of a Pan Am 747 aircraft.

What a wonderful idea — and a such a fun way to learn more about the history of American aviation through experiencing it first hand. Now, who is planning a trip?

Photos copyright Michael Kelley.

  1. Jan says:

    PanAm was the second airplane I was ever on – 1964, from New York to London. Of course, that meant it was also the second kids’ stewardess pin I ever acquired, too (sure wish I knew where those went!). This was all before the 747 came out. But during the early 747 years, we lived just up the hill from the San Francisco airport, and watched many 747s taking off and landing, including one that landed in the bay and sat there for a couple of weeks!
    Really cool photos and post!

  2. JKM says:

    Looking through old pictures, I came across one of my MIL and her family boarding a flight from Dallas to NYC for a family vacation in the early 1950s. It was a professional photograph of her, her brother, and parents posed at the bottom of the stair preparing to board the flight. All were dressed like they were going to church with my MIL, a teenager, in white gloves, her father and younger brother in suits, and her mother in a chic suit and hat. It was rare and expensive back then and not something the average person could do, so flying was special…and civilized. I’d love to travel to California to experience what my parents would have experienced in the 1970s. It’s a beating now.

  3. Andrea says:

    No wonder the uber wealthy hire private jets, I would to to avoid the nonsense of flying. I never had the luxury experience; looks awesome.

  4. Joe Felice says:

    Ah, yes! Stewardesses (single and under 35) wearing pink and blue outfits, with mini-skirts and hats. Free carry-on bags with the airline’s logo. In flight movies. Food and beverage service. Leg room. Fresh doilies on the headrests. Pillows and blankets. All sorts of magazines to read. And the best part of all: Walking up to the gate at the last minute, showing your ticket and ID, and boarding, where your reserved seat awaited you. Many of us remember it well.

      1. Joe Felice says:

        Well, I figured they had a proper name, but I certainly have never heard that word. How have I managed to live 64 years without knowing this? LOL I certainly would not want to get anyone else’s macassar on my hair!

        1. Mary Elizabeth says:

          Joe, “Macassar oil” was a men’s hair cream used in the mid 19th century and up until the 1920s, when Brylcreem was invented. Men would slather their heads with this oil to keep their “dos” in place, then lean back on grandmas’ sofas and chairs and get it all over the upholstery. Sometimes, they would smooth their hair with their hand and rest it on the arm of the chair, thus transferring the oil to the arm as well. So the grandmas started crocheting antimacassars in self defense. “Doilies” are similar, but they are made to protect wood furniture from being scratched by knickknacks.

          Why did you not know this while Nina and I did? Don’t know, except some families like mine were “word crazy,” and every term my parents used came with either a story or an etymology, or both.

          1. nina462 says:

            Thanks for this history lesson Mary Elizabeth – you are correct. Nice to know I’m not the only one with useless knowledge (don’t ever play against me in trivia!).

          2. Joe Felice says:

            Well, of course I heard of Brylcreem, but in the ’50s & ’60s, it was either rose oil or butch wax that boys used. Brylcreem (and Old Spice) was for old fogies, which I am today, but still use neither!

  5. Scott says:

    Aw heck, California always gets all the fun stuff!

    These pictures were so convincing I was totally faked out that we were looking at shots from a vintage brochure. Well done!

  6. MBJ says:

    This will be depressing to anyone who has flown recently! The news has been as packed with stories of angry travelers as the flying sardine cans are with smaller seats. And the only nuts you get are the ones in airline management, who seem determined to take away all the joys of the experience for the sake of profits.

  7. tammyCA says:

    First time I ever flew was in 1974 and it was still you dress nicely for the flight & sit up straight (smoking yes, glad that’s gone). Haven’t flown in several years but just the other day on the News they showed photos of passengers dirty bare feet hanging over seats, on the food trays, half dressed sleepers, etc..ugh.

  8. Lilly says:

    I was a kid and flew frequently during this era. People wonder why I don’t fly unless I have no other choice. This is why. Flying now is like a bus trip in purgatory. I remember what it was like before it became just awful to fly.

  9. virginia says:

    Gerinimom — Thanks for the great piece relating your experiences.

    I did a lot of PanAm flying as a little girl and young teenager. Back and forth to Latin America numerous times. Some to Europe also. I do recall more comfortable seating and far better food. And people dressing nicely. The level of luxury in these photos is not something I recall but I was young. I do remember the little toilette kits one received for inboard use — those were very nice. Also being given the famous PanAm wings on the way out the door.

    Deregulation is right. Won’t mention any names but am tempted to …

    I also recall, vividly, passenger ship travel in the early 60s. That was heaven.

    I console myself now with the realization that the world has opened up in good, deserved, and necessary ways for many many people who were excluded from these kinds of experiences back in the day. Too bad we haven’t been able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

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