Few things have captured the American imagination quite like pizza. First brought to the United States in the 1800s by Italian immigrants, pizza took off in popularity after soldiers stationed in Italy returned from World War II with a taste for pizza pies.
Now, one self-described pizza enthusiast in Los Angeles wants to build a pizza mecca, where fans of all kinds of pie can come share their love for this Italian mainstay.
Los Angeles resident Robin Boytos said that the idea for The Pizza Experience, a museum and attraction built around America’s favorite food, came from taking a good look at her own life and realizing that many of her happiest memories involved this food.
“We are a pizza family,” Boytos said of her background. “We have a lot of very special moments around pizza.” According to CreditDonkey, the U.S. pizza restaurant industry is worth $38 billion, and Americans down about three billion pizzas each and every year. Pizza is often the meal of choice for first dates, Boytos said, and childhood memories also play a part in her love for the stuff.
“I wanted to translate those memories into interactive rooms,” Boytos said of the Pizza Experience. The museum, which is expected to open in October, will feature 12 to 15 pizza-centric rooms. Boytos described one planned room as a “pizza nightclub,” while those worried about putting on pizza pounds can work off calories in a pizza-themed fitness club.
One of the most ambitious rooms will be a pizza dough room, where visitors can roll around in simulated pizza dough. Boytos says that although visitors won’t be able to swim in real pizza dough, due to health concerns, free pizza will be available to all visitors upon exit.
Boytos is aware that the Pizza Experience is in line with museums such as Glendale’s Museum of Selfies and L.A.’s Museum of Ice Cream, as attractions that have as much to do with Instagram and viral selfies than they do with serious exhibitions. However, Boytos isn’t bothered by this.
“This is a pop-culture movement. We don’t claim to be art or marketing,” Boytos said. “We are a fun experience that millennials want to have.”
She may be onto something. The Museum of Ice Cream has had 500,000 visitors as of Nov. 2017, not bad for an institution with hard-to-come-by tickets. San Francisco’s exhibit sold out its first batch of tickets in only 18 minutes, and although there’s no telling how many will visit the Pizza Experience, tickets will go on sale for $30 each on June 29 at 9 a.m. sharp, far in advance of the planned October opening.