Academy Museum — open at last!

| September 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

ACADEMY MUSEUM main entrance is at the Walt Disney Company Plaza beneath the massive spherical building housing the 1000-seat David Geffen Theater. Escalators and gallery lobbies on all five levels are bathed in natural light behind the tall glass wall.

Following a week of Oscar Ceremony-worthy press previews, a glamorous Donor Gala (Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga!), and member preview days, the long-awaited Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opened to the public — at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire — on September 30.

MUSEUM VIP leaders at the Academy Museum press preview included, from left: museum director and president Bill Kramer, trustee and capital campaign committee co-chair Tom Hanks and museum architect Renzo Piano.

The Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby on the museum’s first floor may be entered at no charge, from either the Walt Disney Company Plaza on the north or through the original May Company doors on Wilshire Boulevard on the south.

Media members from around the world got a preview the week before the public opening on September 30. In between the preview and the opening, there also was a star-studded gala on September 25 that featured a dinner and awards presentations (it is the Academy, after all). Those took place on the outdoors, but glass-covered, rooftop Dolby Family Terrace. Awardees included the fundraising co-chairs, Annette Bening, Tom Hanks and Bob Iger, plus filmmaker Haile Gerima and cinema legend Sophia Loren.

THE ACADEMY MUSEUM is south of Parklabrea and east of LACMA, at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.
Photo by Iwan Baen/©Iwan Baen Studios,
courtesy Academy Museum Foundation

There is so much to explore in the new building, which is the product of teamwork among 1,000 people, primarily the client, the Academy Museum, and architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop (in collaboration with Gensler as executive architect), general contractor MATT Construction and at least three dozen other expert design and installation consultants, including exhibition designers WHY Architecture.

Within the new building (and also within the “old” building, because the Saban Building, housing most of the museum facilities, is the restored 1939 May Company building), an important feature is the museum’s series of education and family programs. Both will be ongoing and will include youth programs, family studio activities, family matinee screenings, and school tours. These activities will take place throughout the museum in exhibition galleries, theaters and the Shirley Temple Education Studio.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Dawn Hudson attends the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures: Opening Gala, September 25, 2021.

Because this is a museum of motion pictures, there will be plenty of those projected. In-person screenings and public programs commenced on the Sept. 30 opening day. During the first two months following the opening, the museum will offer the public more than 115 film screenings, discussions, and programs for film lovers of all ages.

A tremendous amount of fascinating information about the new Academy Museum, including how to obtain the required advance timed ticket reservations and how to get tickets for screenings, is available at the website

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Category: Entertainment

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