by Jean Trinh
Nov 21, 2014
Airlines aren’t what they used to be. With the cramped seats and having to pay to check our luggage, we can’t help but long for those good old days—like the kind of experience you would get from a Pan Am flight. For the nostalgic types, there’s the “Pan Am Experience” in Pacoima that lets you pretend for a few hours that you’re a passenger on a Pan Am flight from the ’70s (without ever taking off), complete with cocktails, a four-course meal and stewardess service.
Air Hollywood, a production studio with aviation-themed film sets, is housing the four-hour “Pan Am Experience” that runs from about $300 to $350 a ticket. It comes by way of Anthony Toth, a major collector of airline memorabilia, who made an exact replica of the airline’s Boeing 747 using original tables and chairs and even branded napkins and glassware, according to LA Weekly. (The famous airline went out of business in 1991.) Toth worked a deal with Air Hollywood to park his “plane” there from October to March 2015 in order to host these dinners. The next scheduled event is on Jan. 17.
There are red and blue plush seats and old school wooden tables. Guests are greeted by stewardesses who are wearing authentic 1970s polyester Pan Am outfits complete with hats, according to the Press Telegram. There’s champagne being served, and in the background you’ll hear Frank Sinatra’s music playing. Dinner is served on original branded china with drinks in glassware. There are even sounds of a fake engine humming.
And then there’s the multi-course dinner. According to the Air Hollywood website:
In classic Pan Am style, you will be served a delightful, gourmet four-course meal, starting with choices like shrimp cocktail or tomato and mozzarella drizzled with a pesto glaze. For the main course, we offer a choice of Chateaubriand carved from the trolley, or Roasted Chicken with Peppercorn sauce. For vegetarians we offer a pasta entree that is sure to please. Each meal comes with garden fresh vegetables and roasted potatoes. Our 3rd course is a fine selection of fruit, cheese & biscuits accompanied by port wine, and finally a dessert cart with a large selection of aperitifs. Tea & coffee completes the meal.
After the dinner, guests can feel free to explore the Air Hollywood building and check out film sets, including the cockpit used in the 1980 comedy Airplane!.
Toth told the Press Telegram the reason he wanted to create this experience: “For me walking through that Pan Am doorway when I was a kid and seeing the flight attendants with the staircase in the background was such an exciting moment that I want to re-create that for everybody who walks into this airplane.”