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March 98: Getty Center hits 500,000 Visitor Mark

Los Angeles, CA-- The Getty Center, which has welcomed more than 500,000 visitors since opening in December, will continue to institute special measures to reduce and control crowding over the spring holidays. Visitors are reminded that during this busy season, admittance is assured for those with parking reservations. Those without parking reservations -- including passengers on public buses (MTA #561 and Santa Monica Big Blue #14), local shuttle services, and taxis -- are advised that they may encounter long lines, delays, and possibly will not be admitted due to site capacity limitations.

The 24-hour daily information and parking reservation line is (310) 440-7300. Daily updates on Getty Center capacity are available by prerecorded message on this line. For more information on visiting the Getty Center, click How to Get There, or check the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus information line:(310) 451-5444 and Big Blue Web site.

"We are gratified by the extraordinary public response to the Getty Center during its opening months," says Stephen D. Rountree, Getty executive vice-president and chief operating officer. "At this milestone of reaching our 500,000 visitor mark and with the approaching spring holidays, we want to ensure that people can easily and safely view art in the Museum's galleries, and enjoy the experience of the Getty Center. We also feel we must inform those potential visitors who do not have advance parking reservations that, while we do all we can to minimize the degree to which they are inconvenienced or disappointed, if we have reached capacity we will have to turn them away."

Parking reservations, which are required for all automobiles, are booked until October with the exception of a few late afternoon and evening weekday slots. Commercial bus tours also are booked through the summer. In addition, most public programming such as lectures, Friday Nights at the Getty, and other evening events are already booked to capacity through March. Individual reservations are required for Getty Center events and can be made through the information and parking reservations number cited above.

The Getty has adopted a number of measures aimed at managing the anticipated crowds. These include additional signage on-site and on adjacent access roads, and proactive communications with bus companies, taxis, and shuttle services. During any given day the Getty Center reaches site capacity and cannot accept additional visitors. When this occurs, public bus, taxi, shuttle companies and local hotel concierges are informed and in turn, are asked to inform their patrons. In addition, the Getty is working with the City Department of Transportation and the Police Department to assist in traffic control. Parking is restricted in the surrounding neighborhood and visitors are urged to observe all posted parking regulations. Taxis and other vehicles are not legally permitted to discharge visitors on city streets, and are required to drive onto the Getty Center's premises to drop off passengers.

"Public response to the opening of the Getty Center has been nothing short of phenomenal, surpassing all our expectations and reinforcing our belief that people of all ages and communities of Southern California want to have this unique experience of art, architecture, and the great outdoors," adds Rountree. "We want to assure everyone that the Getty Center is here for the duration, and that if you can't come right now, it's worth making plans in the future when the crowds have diminished."

Contact: Lori Starr, Director, or Cynthia Wornham, Manager, Getty Public Affairs, (310) 440-7360

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About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at www.getty.edu/subscribe to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.