GLENDALE, Calif. — Michael Jackson will share eternity with the likes of Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and W.C. Fields, entombed alongside them in a grand marble mausoleum that will be all but off-limits to adoring fans who might otherwise turn the pop star's grave into a shrine.
A private family ceremony was set for last night inside the massive multistory building at star-studded Forest Lawn Glendale cemetery.
The service comes one month after a lavish public memorial that displayed the King of Pop's gleaming golden casket to millions on TV.
After the burial, the closest the public will be able to get to Jackson's vault is a portion of the mausoleum that displays The Last Supper Window, a life-size stained-glass re-creation of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece.
Several 10-minute presentations about the window are held regularly 365 days a year, but most of the building is restricted.
Lisa Burk, who blogs about celebrity graves, said the Jackson family chose well for his final resting place if it was privacy they were after.
“It's impossible to get in there,” Ms. Burk said.
“It was before, and it will be worse now.”
Glendale police were providing security for the indoor service, which was well inside the sprawling grounds and by-invite only. Family representatives have said the affair was to be private, with no media allowed.
No fans were allowed inside the blocked-off media area, nor had anyone gathered on the fringes of the perimeter by late afternoon. A car accident near the barricades diverted the attention of some officers, and an elementary school across the street was emptying of curious students.
The Jackson family had booked an Italian restaurant in Pasadena for a gathering last night, said Alex Carr, assistant operations manager at Villa Sorriso, in the city's Old Town district.
She wouldn't specify the menu or number of people, but said the entire restaurant, which can accommodate 200 guests, had been reserved for the event and that security would be present.
The ceremony ends months of speculation that the singer's body would be buried at Neverland Ranch, in part to make the property a Graceland-style attraction.
The King of Pop died a drug-induced death June 25 at age 50 as he was about to embark on a comeback attempt.
The coroner's office has labeled the death a homicide, and Jackson's death certificate lists “injection by another” as the cause.