I wrote recently about how movie backdrops can do wonders for tourism – think The Third Man (Vienna), Don’t Look Now (Venice) and any number of Woody Allen films (New York).
Now, Washington DC is looking for a boost in visitor numbers with the release of the Night At The Museum sequel. This one has the subtitle Battle of The Smithsonian and it’s set in that prestigious museum and research centre, based primarily in DC.
Like its predecessor from three years ago – that one was set in New York’s Museum of Natural History - the action of the film follows night guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) whose job is hampered by the exhibits coming to life after dark.
And there are many exhibits to keep an eye on at the Smithsonian, with more than 136 million items in its collections. These include the Lockheed Vega plane belonging to aviator Amelia Earhart (played in the film by Amy Adams). You might also catch Teddy Roosevelt, Al Capone, Custer, Ivan The Terrible and Attila The Hun.
There’s general agreement in Washington that the release of the movie is good news for the city. “Often times we hear that parents have a civic duty to bring their families to D.C. for a vacation,” said Victoria Isley of the tourism bureau Destination DC. “But we believe Night at the Museum 2 will really help kids inspire visits themselves.”
by Andy Moreton
If you’re keen to visit the Smithsonian and everything else DC has to offer, take a look at the Luxique selection of luxury hotels in Washington DC, including the Four Seasons in Georgetown.
I went to see Gone With The Wind – the epic Civil War musical that opened in London at the beginning of April to a chorus of boos from the critics.
Trevor Nunn’s production at the New London Theatre is not so much windy as overblown – three-and-a-half hours on seats guaranteed to numb your bum. “Give me strength!” cried Scarlett O’Hara, and we knew what she meant.
But Trevor Nunn shouldn’t despair. His Les Miserables was widely ridiculed at its opening but it’s still running in London 22 years later.
All this reminds me to report that there’s a new Civil War tour of Washington, sponsored by Washington Walks and Cultural Tourism DC.
The three-hour tour, “Civil War Washington: Soldiers and Citizens” includes a visit to the newly restored Lincoln Cottage, the President’s summer retreat on the campus of the US Armed Forces Retirement Home. Other stops include Fort Stevens, which came under attack during the war, and the African American Civil War Memorial.
The tour takes place on six Saturdays from May 24th. For details, see www.washingtonwalks.com
by Andy Moreton
Luxique offers a unique selection of Washington DC luxury hotels for a perfect trip to the capital.
I read in the American press that souvenirs are flying off the shelves at the Washington DC hotel where Eliot Spitzer allegedly had a tryst with a high-priced call girl.
The tiny gift shop at the Mayflower Hotel has been doing a brisk business in merchandise since the scandal erupted last month, leading to Spitzer’s resignation as New York Governor.
The hotel’s management says any items with the Mayflower logo and its long-time catchphrase, “Washington’s Second Best Address” are hot.
At least one souvenir hunter has gone to extremes. The hotel says the sign for Room 871 - the one where Spitzer’s alleged encounter occurred - disappeared a few weeks ago.
by Andy Moreton