The Pizza Experience was really an experience. There are no words that could be used to describe how this event went except being psychologically traumatizing
This “multisensory museum” was created by Robin Boytos, the visionary behind it all. According to Boytos, she was inspired all because of a bet she made over sandwiches and pizza with her husband.
She made a bet with her husband to see who could eat pizza or sandwiches the longest period of days. Boytos failed to keep up with her part of the bet, but her husband on the other hand was able to eat pizza up to 45 day, and managed to lose weight. Boytos came about creating the Pizza Experience to help sell her husband’s book about his pizza weight loss journey.
To begin this pizza journey, workers first greet you with a big cheesy smile while wearing pizza baseball caps. Once it hits 4pm, the doors open a pizza experience you will NEVER forget.
You are then greeted by a man who looks like an Mark Hamill stunt double who goes by the name David. He first welcomes you into this pizza nightmare, and then asks you what your favorite pizza topping is. Alongside of you, are two semi-enthusiastic event attendees who scream, “ PEPPERONI”. It was like being in a room full of excited kindegardners who gave you the stare if you had a different topping preference.
After being asked a ridiculous series of questions about pizza toppings, David then lays out some basic ground rules of what not to do when walking from room to room. Let this be clear, one of his rules includes: “Don’t take off your pants”. He was very adamant about this rule. Which let me tell you, it made absolutely no sense. It was like crickets going off in a room, dying of silence because no one knew how to react.
The first room you enter is known as the Pizza Night Club. The room included props that consist of many pizza DJs and spin tables which didn’t even work. It seems the art within this room was not the main focus which is what you expect from an art exhibition you are paying $36 for. The only focus was on the background music playing which kept yelling at guests, “ PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA,” about twenty times. It’s then followed by other lyrics you can’t even keep up with because you still have the previous lyric in your head repeating. This room itself, was very creative in establishing a nightclub atomposhere with the minimal lighting, and the walls filled with graffiti. The music however was not very club like, and something I could not get “turnt” to.
After being pushed out by the music, you are now into the second room called the Pizza Fitness Center which is ironic considering how fattening pizza can be. This room looked exactly like an old 80’s dance room. To top it off, the room featured some pizza themed workout gear-my favorite being the cycling bike. The best part about this bike was you couldn’t even do any cycling on the bike. It was just a cheap prop designed to look like a cycling bike. If you are paying an arm and leg the least you can have is an actual cycling bike considering how much this museum is profiting off of it’s guests. And of course, each work out item had pizza images on it.
The third room you are introduced to is known as the Pizza Dough room. It was just a room with four large bean bags designed to look like pizza dough. There were also two posters of pizza, where you can go up to snatch and sniff. When you would do so, it didn’t smell like anything. Let’s just say this room was short and simple, just like the entire exhibition.
Next up is the Pizza Gallery. This room was just a room full of world famous art pieces slapped with pizza on them. For example, they had pieces like, “American Gothic” by artist Grant Wood, where it just had some pizza images wherever they thought would look best. A favorite of mine was how they took famous sculptures of Greek men who had leaves hiding their private area, but instead of a leaf, guess what they had? You guessed right, they had pizza!! Like they promise, this art gallery had a variety of different types of pizza displayed. Here’s the catch, instead of having the real deal, it was all just cheap plastic replicas. Instead of smelling delicious pizza toppings to satisfy the nose, all you are left with is a plastic smell when you go up for a sniff of pizza. If I wanted to see plastic pizza, I would’ve gone to my three year old cousin’s toy kitchen, and get some fake pizza out of her toy refrigerator.
The next room was the pizza haven, which was tons of pizzas topping each other therefore forming towers. There was not much chao going on on in this room compared to the other disasters which was a relief—well, that’s what I thought.
Finally, after so MANY rooms you now enter the Pizza Castle, which is where attendees are finally able to smell actual pizza and not the plastic kind. Before being able to get to the pizza, you are bombarded by a pizza knight who chanted random greetings. At this point into the pizza maze, I was too focus on getting the pizza, and actually eating it so I was too preoccupied to keep up with the pizza knight.
After finally getting the pizza and a small can of Pepsi, I entered the Munchies Room. This room had to be an only favorite out of this entire mess. It had props that include a 70’s vibe, of a long brown coach, and an old tv set, which where you could chillax and eat your pizza. Once I finally sat down, I realized that this pizza was not freshly made by pizza professionals. It was Roundtable. After finishing my pizza, I then some the greatest piece of art displayed. It was a portrait of a huge cannabis.
Coming into this event I expect some fancy pizza and to be full of pizza knowledge. Nope, I was given some store bought pizza. If you are going to buy the pizza at least buy the good kind like Dominos or Pizza Hut, not from a place no one has even heard of. Who knows, maybe this museum was sponsored by Round Table because not many people even know about them.
The next room is the Pizzapartment which has a bathroom and bedroom just full of pizza EVERYWHERE. After experiencing so much pizza, I have now diagnosed myself with a pizza phobia.
The last and final room, is known as Cauliflower Dreams, which just full of cauliflower. You first enter a garden full of pizza and cauliflower. This is the only room that depicted pizza different from pepperoni pizza. . Let me say this again, this is the ONLY ROOM that offered a different pizza topping besides pepperoni. Last time I checked, the place was called the Pizza Experience? How the hell are you going to fulfil this pizza journey without enlightening people about different types of pizzas or topping?
This pop-up-museum is a pizza extravaganza that is being held in Old Pasadena off of 129 North Raymond Ave from Oct.3 to Jan.29. For admission of only $36, you get too see rooms full of pizza madness, and receive not one but TWO (or more if you beg) Roundtable’s famous cardboard pizza.
Please save $36 and don’t attend this event if you are only interested in understanding the history of pizza. This place is only good for taking photos for Instagram with pizza props.