Take Three: Giving Props
You’d never guess that behind the bland warehouse door in Canoga Park a lion roars. The horrifyingly lifelike beast hails from Jumanji and now presides over a vast room of floor-to-ceiling movie memorabilia at the Prop Store. Brandon Alinger, the shop’s COO, tells me that his customers are mostly men, though when something such as Christina Ricci’s dresses from Sleepy Hollow or Keira Knightley’s Pirates of the Caribbean costumes surface, they sell out in a flash, despite the sometimes four-figure price tags.
White Star Line plates and silverware from Titanic went pretty quickly, too, but there are still some blankets and life jackets available if that floats your boat. (Ouch! Sorry!) If you don’t want those, how about Angelina Jolie’s speargun from Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, or maybe a pair of 15-foot-high faux-Egyptian columns decorated with falcons, refugees from the sci-fi TV show Stargate SG-1?
“We call it film art. Practically everything here is made by hand,” Alinger says, showing off Tobey Maguire’s Seabiscuit boxing gloves and Tom Cruise’s briefcase from Valkyrie. There’s something for every taste, even mine: if I had a home theater instead of a 12-inch TV, I’d be tempted to grace it with a model of Roger Rabbit’s head that was used as a scale reference for the actors (it’s the size of a human noggin, minus the ears) that is completely winning in its own right.