What you'd really like to get you hands on is something personal that actually belonged to a movie star, right? Something like... Elizabeth Taylor's shoes. Or maybe Joan Crawford's cigarette holder...
Well, then make your way to Main Street in Santa Monica. Just a short distance from Arnold Schwarzenegger's restaurant ("Schazi on Main"), you'll find a little shop that may have just what you want. If you can afford it.
"Star Wares" (which might be more properly spelled "Star Wears") sells clothing previously worn by Hollywood stars, as well as genuine movie props, personal belongings of celebs, and other such movie and TV memorabilia.
Each item is labeled clearly, not only with the price, but also with a description of the item, and (most importantly) with the name of the star who contributed the item.
The prices are reasonable, considering the source. You can pick up a white scarf worn by Loretta Switt ("Hot Lips" from "M*A*S*H") for a paltry $15. A nice (signed) sweater worn by Katharine Oxenburg in "Dynasty" can be had for a mere $145.
But when it comes to the choicest items, the prices can go up in a hurry. That cigar holder from "Mommie Dearest" herself (Joan Crawford) has an asking price of $225. And those Liz Taylor pumps come with a price tag of $450.
But even if you can't afford the big-ticket items, it's still fun to look at them, and "Star Wares" is a virtual mini-museum of movie memorabilia.
Inside the tiny shop, there's a glass display case just to the right of the door where you'll find their most valuable collector's items:
Or perhaps your tastes run more to the likes of a genuine pair of pointed Vulcan ears used in 1984's "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" ($800 a set), a laser pistol from the TV series "Battlestar Galactica" ($300), or a bizarre stringed instrument from "Super Mario Bros" ($1,500).
You can own Gregory Hines' tap-dancing shoes for $350, a small carved ivory art-deco figurine that once belonged to John Barrymore for $295, glittery shoes worn by Olivia Newton-John for $195, or Mary Tyler Moore's rhinestone pill box for $145.
There are less-expensive items in this display case as well:
But if you're budget is limited, stay away from that autographed photo of Bruce Lee. It costs $1,500. And you might want to pass on the $8,500 dress worn by Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman." on Michael Jackson's electric, sequined glove (priced at $27,000), and on Ringo Starr's snare drum from his days with the Beatles ($30,000.)
Note that the above items are only what's inside the display case. Most of the room at "Star Wares" is devoted to racks of clothes worn by the stars, at much more reasonable prices.
For instance, you can buy:
(It appears that Cher is a big contributor to this store.) You could get a Linda Blair-autographed skirt for just $5. Or a bra worn from Barbra Streisand for $35. A Bob Mackie pantsuit designed for Carol Burnett goes for $75.
Feel free to take the clothes off the racks and try them on for size (despite their celebrity tags). There are hats, shoes, belts, accessories, dresses, blouses, shirts, and jackets, from both male and female stars (although at least 75% of the clothing is for women).
In the back of the small store, there's another glass display case against the north wall. This one contains assorted movie props, such as an original walkie-talkie from "Jurassic Park" (for $1,500), a signed bolero hat from Mel Gibson ($450), a flying disk from "Batman Returns" ($500), and a "Star Trek" Feringi "nose appliance" for $100.
Bear in mind that these items are for sell, so the inventory changes constantly. Chances are that the items listed above will have already been sold by the time you read this. But they are always getting in new merchandise, and it's always exciting to see what new items they have in stock.
So, if you're looking for a real Hollywood souvenir, forget about those tacky souvenir shops along Hollywood Boulevard - this is the place to come! Open 10:30 to 6 PM Mon-Sat, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Getting there: "Star Wares" is [was] located on Main Street in Santa Monica, near the northeast corner of Ashland and Main. If you weren't looking for the shop, you could easily walk right past it. It's tucked away on the north side of a building with stained glass windows. / From the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, take the Lincoln Boulevard offramp. Head south on Lincoln (two blocks) to Pico Boulevard. Turn right (west) on Pico, and go half a mile west to Main Street. Turn left (south) on Main Street, and go about three quarters of a mile south to near Ashland Avenue. The store will be on your left (east) side.
[For more information, you can access Star Wares' own website at: http://www.starwares.com.]
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