Parking rates rise at Getty Center, Getty Villa

If you plan on driving to the Getty Center or Getty Villa this Independence Day weekend, take a little extra money. Starting tomorrow, parking rates at the museums go up from $10 to $15 per car. More on the story from KPCC’s Brian Watt.

Brian Watt: Admission to the Getty museums has always been free, and that’s not changing. What has changed is the economy, and the recession has visited the Getty just as it has most art institutions across the country. Spokesman Ron Hartwig says Getty officials knew that raising the parking fee by $5 would make a lot of people reconsider whether to visit.

Ron Hartwig: We did not make this decision lightly. It was a part of an entire package designed to minimize layoffs. And even at that, we did have to have layoffs at the Getty.

Watt: Ninety-one layoffs to be exact. The institution also had to eliminate more than 200 positions. That helped trim the Getty’s budget by about a quarter. But there’s now a way to park for free at the Getty Center near the 405 freeway: show up after 5 o’clock in the evening. On weeknights, there’s no charge to park for plays, films, concerts, and lectures. On Saturday nights, the center stays open until 9.

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