Outside of local acting schools devoted to pantomime and stagecraft, the place you're most likely to see wild arm gestures around Southern California is on the Miracle Mile.
We speak of the La Brea Tar Pits, specifically, an ancient fossil site that once was home to big animals doing big things. Mammoths ruled the roost 20,000 years ago, or so, along Wilshire Boulevard, as did a host of other extinct creatures. Which means we modern visitors are prone to making over-the-top arm movements, an attempt to bring long-ago beasties back to life for our generally amused (though sometimes not) kids.
Our swinging "trunks," fashioned from our forearms, can be now stowed: The Page Museum, the tar pits-adjacent institution devoted to housing the jaws and femurs found around the Mid-City excavation site, is debuting a new film which will bring former furry area residents to life, in huge and furry 3D.
What to do, where to go and what to see
"Titans of the Ice Age: The La Brea Story in 3D" debuts on Saturday, June 20. The film will run throughout every half-hour at the Miracle Mile fossil-a-torium, every day the museum is open, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum entry, plus the film, for an adult, is $16, $13 for youth, students, and seniors, and eight bucks for the kids.
The mammoth-filled movie is a "22-minute action-packed immersive portal to the great Pleistocene Ice Age" and it features "recent footage and interviews with museum paleontologists" (so, yep, there's some local cred: it was "partially filmed at the La Brea Tar Pits.")
The story behind Zed, one of "the most complete Colombian mammoth skeletons ever uncovered," will be one of the highlights of the visually rich film.
If you know where Zed was discovered, raise your hand now. What? You're right: Zed "was extracted in 2008 from a parking lot next to the La Brea Tar Pits."
Think about that the next time you park your car anywhere. What wondrous ancient treasures might be deep beneath the asphalt?
The new 3D theatre joins a recently refurbished Page Museum lobby and other updated touches. More than anything, this in-depth look at the beasties who once held a Wilshire Boulevard address — long before Wilshire Boulevard arrived, of course — will give your tots, and you, a fuller, more real look at the animals we know mostly from today's fossils.
Whether this means you need to stow your big arm movements, and your excellent impression of a mammoth, swinging trunk and all, is up to you. (We'd probably keep that in your repertoire, just to be safe.)