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It’s “Action” For New Movie Museum

October 18, 2012

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today unveiled an initial public look at the architects’ vision for its new movie museum, billed as the first major institution of its kind in the United States.

One of the drawings, by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, depicts a dramatic glass sphere that appears to float behind the museum, which will be located in the grand, 1938 May Co. building on Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax. The museum, on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus, promises to have a “profound impact on the cultural landscape of Los Angeles,” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said in a statement.

In a news release, the Academy announced that $100 million has been raised so far to build the non-profit museum, which will be “dedicated exclusively to the history and ongoing development of motion pictures.” A capital campaign to raise the remaining $150 million is underway.

The nearly 300,000-square-foot museum is set to open in 2016.

Illustrations by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it has reached its initial goal of $100 million toward a $250 million capital campaign to fund the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Concurrently, the Academy unveiled its vision for the first major U.S. museum dedicated exclusively to the history and ongoing development of motion pictures. Designed by award-winning architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the non-profit museum which will be located in the historic May Company Wilshire building in Los Angeles, is slated to open in 2016.

“The Academy Museum will be a landmark that both our industry and our city can be immensely proud of,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “I appreciate the unwavering support of our board, our members, and especially our campaign chairs, all of whom have led us through this crucial stage.”

Launched in early 2012 by Campaign Chair Bob Iger and Co-Chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks, the campaign has raised $100 million through private donations towards a $250 million goal. “The early response to our fundraising campaign has been outstanding and is incredibly encouraging,” said Iger. “We are so grateful to the founding supporters of the campaign, who share our vision and passion for creating the Academy Museum.”

Located on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) campus, the nearly 300,000 square-foot Academy Museum will revitalize the historic building, which has been vacant or underutilized for nearly 20 years, and weave it back into the fabric of the city.

The design fully restores the Wilshire and Fairfax street-front facades of the 1938 Streamline Moderne building, and includes a spherical glass addition at the back of the original building. Designed to represent the marriage of art and technology, the addition will house a state-of-the-art theater which replaces an extension made to the structure in 1946.

“The design for the museum will finally enable this wonderful building to be animated and contribute to the city after sitting empty for so long,” said Piano, the Pritzker Prize winning architect.  “I am very inspired by the Academy’s name and mission, the idea of the arts and sciences working together to create films. Our design will preserve the May Company building’s historic public profile while simultaneously signaling that the building is taking on a new life that celebrates both the industry and art form that this city created and gave to the world.”

“A major movie museum in the heart of this city has been a long-held dream of the Academy,” said Academy President Hawk Koch, “Thanks to the latest technological developments we can take the visiting public through time, back into our history and forward toward our future.”

Through immersive exhibitions and galleries, special screening rooms, and an interactive education center with demonstration labs, the museum will draw from the Academy’s extensive collections and archives, which include more than 140,000 films, 10 million photographs, 42,000 original film posters, 10,000 production drawings, costumes, props and movie-making equipment, as well as behind-the-scenes personal accounts from artists and innovators – the Academy’s membership – working in the motion picture industry.

“Hollywood has played an unparalleled role in bringing American art, culture and creativity to people around the world,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles. “The Academy Museum will be a remarkable resource for L.A. that will both celebrate the industry that has defined our city and provide an essential resource that reinforces our position as leader and innovator.”

The $100 million raised includes significant commitments from:

  • Campaign Chairs and their families: Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and Bob Iger and Willow Bay
  • Academy Governors, Past Presidents and their families, including: Bill Condon and Jack Morrissey, Richard and Bonnie Cook, Rob and Shari Friedman, Sid and Nancy Ganis, Jim and Ann Gianopulos, Gale Anne Hurd, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, Hawk and Molly Koch, John and Nancy Lasseter, Walter Mirisch and Lawrence Mirisch, Bob and Kay Rehme, and Tom and Madeleine Sherak
  • Corporate partners, including Dolby Laboratories, Panavision, Technicolor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Entertainment Partners/Central Casting, Girard-Perregaux Watches, and The New York Times
  • Film studios and entertainment conglomerates, including The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Lionsgate
  • Individuals and foundations, including Cecilia DeMille Presley, Lucasfilm Foundation, Shirley Temple Black and Family, Ken and Carol Schultz, The Mary Pickford Foundation, Alan and Cindy Horn, Frank and Fay Mancuso, Bob and Eva Shaye, The Four Friends Foundation, the Film Music Foundation, and Jerry and Linda Bruckheimer
  • Industry guilds, including the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America, West.

The Academy will also provide an endowment to support the Museum’s long-term programming.

“The Academy Museum will have a profound impact on the cultural landscape of Los Angeles. The decision to locate this museum in a historic building on LACMA’s campus will bring incredible benefits to both institutions and their visitors. It is a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

 

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ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners­—the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

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