Members of the Larchmont Chronicle got an exclusive look at the proposed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ movie museum, which—if all the stars are aligned—is set to open at the historic May Co. on Wilshire Blvd. in 2017.
A “magical” wooden box was brought to Le Pain Quotidien on Larchmont Blvd. last month, where, on a rustic table in the back of the café, it was opened to reveal a miniature, three-D design of the new museum by award-winning architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali.
The museum will be on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus, owners of the May Co. building.
A translucent glass sphere is at the rear of the May Co.’s 1939 Streamline Moderne building, whose signature gold-leafed glass mosaic corner at Fairfax will be preserved.
The May Co. will lose a 1946 addition in the rear of the building, which is not historic and to make room for the dome, said Heather Cochran, managing director, museum project.
Visitors will move from floor to floor on elevators, escalators and stairs, while the glass structure lets in abundant light, said Cochran. “It’s a great addition to the cultural landscape of the city.”
The idea of a film museum has been in the works since the 1930s, said Cochran.
The $300 million project got a big boost recently when David Geffen donated $25 million, landing his name on a proposed 1,000-seat theater in the glass dome.
The 300,000 square foot museum is still in the planning stages, yet to start an environmental review process with community meetings in the works, members of Marathon Communications said.
The new site’s exhibitions, galleries and programs will draw from the Academy’s library of films, photographs, film posters, production and costume design drawings, props, costumes and scripts.
Among its treasures are original copies of scripts, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” with Gregory Peck, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the piano in “Casablanca.”