Is it worth the $25 to see ‘Pompeii’ at LACMA?


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You’ve read the review. You’ve seen the ads.

Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples,” one of this year’s big exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and which opened May 3, explores the lifestyles of the urban elite in ancient Pompeii. So how much do you have to pay to see how the privileged lived?


Adult admission is $25 (which includes an audio tour); but if you’re willing to catch a twilight viewing, that price falls to $20 after 5 p.m. Those hoping to avoid box-office lines can expect to pay a $2 service fee for online purchases.

It’s the highest price LACMA has ever charged for admission to a special exhibition, said museum spokeswoman Allison Agsten. But she pointed out that the museum has repeatedly boosted admission prices for special exhibitions over the past 25 years to accommodate inflation. Adult admission to “Pompeii: Life in the Roman Town” a decade ago was $15, with an optional audio tour for $5 more. In the last couple of years, admission to the specially ticketed exhibits “Dalí: Painting & Film” and “Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images” was $20 on weekends, $17 on weekdays.

A random sampling of visitors to the exhibition over the weekend didn’t turn up any who seemed to mind forking over the dough.

“It’s the first time I’ve been to LACMA,” said Sharon Hennegen, 50, of Huntington Beach. Her husband purchased three tickets to the exhibit online. “I really enjoyed it. It was definitely worth the money.”

But we’d like to hear from our Culture Monster readers. Is the experience of ‘Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples’ worth the $25? What’s the most you’d be willing to pay for admission to a special exhibition?

— Yvonne Villarreal