When Marty McFly zoomed out of 1985, only to immediately crash Doc Brown's time-traveling DeLorean into the Peabody family's barn, film audiences could guess, within in a few minutes, that our hero really had landed back in the 1950s.
The clothing, the buildings, the vintage vibe soon let the Biff out of the bag: Marty was actually in 1955.
But what year would the puffy-vested protagonist have thought he was in if the DeLorean had arrived at the Petersen Automotive Museum circa 2016?
What to do, where to go and what to see
The sci-fi, neon-o-swirl look of the freshly re-imagined structure has an air of 2107 to it, give or take, or at least somewhere deep within the next century. The Petersen is, then, a perfect time-twisting place for the original "Back to the Future" DeLorean DMC-12 to go on display, which it will in April.
Set your digital time-read-out for Friday, April 22, fans, for that's the opening day of the new display. (Perhaps you've already visited the not-yet-open display, numerous times, being an auto-loving, future-visiting time traveler.)
If you're wondering if the DeLorean has stopped by the vehicle-filled institution before — there've been a lot of movie cars there over the decades, yes indeedy — wonder no longer: This is its Petersen debut. And if you're wondering if it hails from Universal Studios Hollywood, know you are as right about that assumption as Marty's band was too loud for the talent show judges' personal tastes.
Which is to say that you're very, very right.
"The unveiling will kick off a monthlong celebration of the iconic car and film trilogy, including panel discussions, a DeLorean cruise-in, and an '80s-themed "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance; all events sponsored by Belkin and Mattel," reveals the Petersen.
A pre-treat to the big unveiling: "Back to the Future" writer Bob Gale and John Murdy, USH's Creative Director (and the vivacious visionary behind Halloween Horror Nights), will talk all things DeLorean at a special gathering on April 20.
So, where can you see the icon in all of its souped-up glory? It'll eventually make a forever home in the Cars of Film and Television area of the museum — that's in the Hollywood Gallery — but weekend #1 is all about the first floor of the Petersen, so look for it there if you're one of the first people to catch it.
It's pretty hard to catch, of course, being a time-traveling device. But you just might.
And we weren't joshing around before, with our initial query: Upon seeing the current Petersen Automotive Museum, what year would 1985 Marty have thought he'd arrived in? The May Company Building, which is across the street from the auto institution, still has its 1939-cool gold tube, and Johnie's Coffee Shop is pure midcentury, still.
Which leads us to believe that the DeLorean's new home at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue puts it in the most time-nutty, calendar-quirky intersection in all of Southern California. Nicely done, Universal Studios Hollywood and Petersen Automotive Museum and all of the people who brought this new display to plutonium-powered life.