It was 6:15 on a Saturday evening and a line of people already snaked out the door and into the garage for the seven o’clock screening. OUTATIME, the extraordinary film documenting the painstaking restoration of the legendary Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine was about to be shown for the first time, and almost six hundred film fans and auto aficionados anxiously awaited cramming themselves into the sold-out event to see the documentary and the freshly restored DeLorean A-car.
The screening concluded a series of successful Back to the Future events the Petersen held over the past few months, following the Petersen’s acquisition of the DeLorean Time Machine from Universal Studios in April, several movie nights and an “Enchantment under the Sea” dance. The OUTATIME screening drew a larger crowd than ever before, and for BTTF fans, this was a night to remember.
As one of the most recognizable movie cars in the world, you’d assume the BTTF DeLorean would have been protected in a hermetically-sealed bubble. However, decades of wear and exposure in the backlot of the studio left the car in poor condition and missing many parts, including the “flux capacitor.” Bob Gale, producer and co-writer for the Back to the Future trilogy, joined forces with Universal Studios and a group of dedicated fans to restore the DeLorean and bring the Time Machine back to life. Every imaginable detail – from lights and buttons to wire color and diameter – was restored to its original state. Their efforts were chronicled by director and producer Steve Concotelli in OUTATIME.
Concotelli hosted the screening at the Petersen and led a panel discussion after the film with Joe Walser, head of the team that restored the Time Machine. The discussion was live-streamed on the Petersen’s Facebook page and remains available for viewing. The two answered dozens of questions on the historic restoration and documentation process, and reaffirmed that the Petersen Automotive Museum is the perfect home for the DeLorean.
The Time Machine is the centerpiece of the Petersen’s Hollywood Gallery, surrounded by other iconic vehicles from film and television, including the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman films and the Pontiac Aztek minivan from Breaking Bad. One of the DeLorean’s distinctive gullwing doors is open so that visitors have unprecedented visual access to the flux capacitor in all its glory. After thirty years of neglect, the Back to the Future Time Machine has returned to new life and is accessible to the public, for now and on into the future.