Welcome to the early ’70s, when flying was sexy and perfectly coiffed stewardesses (yes, that is what they were called) served distinguished travelers stiff drinks and chateaubriand. If you are drawn to the nostalgia of the golden days of aviation, then let us introduce you to The Pam Am Experience. A thrill unlike no other, this experience lets you relive the glamour a 1970 first-class flight, without ever leaving the ground.
What started in Anthony Toth’s garage in Redondo Beach, California, with half a fuselage and friends’ providing their own wine, has turned into a revolutionary spin on the dinner party. Say goodbye to blasé dinners and step back in time for a retro event unlike no other. Your adventure begins in a studio located in Pacoima, California, roughly 10 miles from Burbank. Walk the red carpet from the parking lot into a studio perfectly transformed into a 1970 airline terminal where 56 passengers embark on a journey aboard an exact replica of Pan Am’s 747. After checking in, relax in the airport lounge with a complimentary drink before boarding the Jet Clipper for a nostalgic dinner party.
Passengers choose from three ticket options: The Upper Deck Lounge, The Main Deck First Class, and The Clipper Cabin Dining Room. Along with a 5 or 6-course meal, you’ll enjoy music, a safety demo, fashion show, and a trivia contest while “in-flight.” At the end of your flight, guests take home departing gifts including prop cigarettes, a menu, a boarding pass, a luggage tag, and postcards.
The Pan Am Experience has come a long way since its early days in Toth’s garage. As the concept grew, so did interest with aviation fanatics around the country including Talaat Captan, founder and CEO of Air Hollywood. A rebuilt 747-200, including the “Clipper Lounge,” a licensing of the Pan Am name, and a launch party with guests from all over the country has blossomed into a sold-out entertainment venue every night since the launch in 2014.
So why is it that people want to travel back in time? Captan tells us, “Because of the good old days of traveling…less stress, less complications. People use to get dressed up because it was about the journey and the fun. It really was an exciting adventure to see new places, meet fascinating folks and try fine foods…it was a bit of luxury to fly to a new part of the world…The Pan Am Experience is bringing that sense of high-class travel back…even if it’s just for a few hours.”
The close attention to detail is so precise that Captan says, “People who worked for Pan Am in the golden age have joined us and said we’re spot on.”
If you’re thinking of an innovative birthday party surprise, corporate dinner party or simply want to impress friends with a once in a lifetime experience, it’s going to take some advance planning. “We never advertise and we’re booked solid for months,” says Captan. Make sure to continue to check out their site for more information.