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The Petersen Automotive Museum is located on Wilshire Boulevard along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angelesmarker. One of the world's largest automotive museums, the Petersen Automotive Museum is a non-profit organization specializing in the education and history of the automobile.

Founded on June 11, 1994 by Robert E. Petersen (who founded Hot Rod and Motor Trend magazines) and his wife, Margie, the $40 million dollar Petersen Automotive Museum is owned and operated by the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation. Previously located within the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, today the museum is permanently housed in a historic 1960s department store building. It was originally built in 1962 for a short-lived U.S. branch of Japanese department store chain, Seibu. Then, from 1964-1986, it operated as Ohrbach's department store.

The museum can display over 100 vehicles and owns over twice that. The ground floor displays a virtual history of the automobile in Los Angeles, complete with vintage vehicles and buildings. The second floor houses both permanent and special exhibits. The third floor features the May Family Children's Discovery Center, a hands-on exhibit for children to learn science through the workings of a car. The fourth floor houses an all-glass penthouse conference center, Founder's lounge and kitchen for corporate and private use.

Museum in popular culture

On March 9 1997, after a party at the museum, The Notorious B.I.G. got into an SUV with his entourage and drove 50 yards to a red light where he was murdered by an unknown assailant.

Orbach's department store is featured in a lengthy sequence in the 1988 film Miracle Mile.

The museum is destroyed in the 1997 film, Volcano.

In a scene from "Who Killed the Electric Car?" a previous General Motors EV1 owner visits their car in an exhibit.

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