The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Is (Finally!) Set to Open in the Fall

Stephen Parisi

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is the largest institution in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking.

The long awaited, highly anticipated Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is (finally!) set to open September, 2021. The museum’s opening has been pushed back previously due to delays in the construction of the large and complicated structure which features among other details, a massive glass dome. Then Covid hit, delaying the opening once again. After almost a decade of planning and more than five years after construction started, the nearly $500 million museum built by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will finally open on Sept. 30.
“We are putting the final touches on our stunning exhibitions and public spaces, and while we were ready and eager to welcome visitors in the spring, with the current surge of COVID-19, it would be irresponsible to maintain an April opening,” he said. “We know a new day is coming for us all, and when it does, the Academy Museum will be ready to offer our visitors the remarkable experience we have all been wanting.” Bill Kramer, said the museum’s director and president. The grand opening will be proceeded by a series of private and industry preview events, and a formal gala, currently scheduled for September 25.
Academy Museum Foundation/Images by WHY Architecture
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the 300,000 square-foot museum campus at Wilshire and Fairfax features a major renovation and expansion to the 1939 May Company Building. Renamed the Saban Building in honor of the benefactors Cheryl and Haim Saban, this Streamline Moderne landmark in the heart of Los Angeles’s Miracle Mile neighborhood is adjoined by a soaring new glass-and-concrete spherical addition to the north, featuring a terrace with sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills.
Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, an education studio, restaurant, retail store, and beautiful public spaces. The new 1,000-seat Geffen Theater located in the sphere will become a center for all visitors and feature daily screenings, major film events including previews, openings and special presentations with the world’s leading filmmakers. A more intimate 288-seat theater will offer screenings ranging from Saturday morning matinees for children of all ages to a global cinema series.
Academy Museum Foundation/Images by WHY Architecture
Both theaters will be home to an array of live performances, lectures, panels, and other events that will bring the most notable film artists of today to Los Angeles. Theaters will be equipped to present film with multidimensional sound experiences and superior screen quality.
The Collection include more than 12.5 million photographs; 237,000 film and video assets; 85,000 screenplays; 65,500 posters; and 133,000 pieces of production art. The collections also include more than 1,700 special collections of film legends such as Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Hattie McDaniel, and Alfred Hitchcock. These special collections contain production files, personal correspondence, clippings, contracts, manuscripts, scrapbooks, storyboards, and more. The Academy's collecting divisions work collaboratively to acquire, preserve, digitize, and exhibit the broad range of materials entrusted to their care by generations of filmmakers and collectors.
The Academy Museum has been actively acquiring three-dimensional motion picture objects since 2008. Its holdings now number approximately 5,000 items representing motion-picture technology, costume design, production design, makeup and hairstyling, promotional materials and memorabilia, and awards.
Additionally, the museum will draw from the unparalleled collections of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which contains a vast range of motion picture production and history-related objects and technology, works on paper, and still and moving images covering the history of motion pictures in the United States and throughout the world. via
Academy Museum Foundation/Images by WHY Architecture
Academy Museum Foundation/Images by WHY Architecture
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