Christie’s East will be moving one of its two annual animation auctions from New York City to Beverly Hills this summer. The move marks the first time an international auction house will concentrate on the Southern California animation market.

Elyse Luray-Marx, assistant VP of the collectible department at Christie’s East, says Christie’s is opening its new Beverly Hills gallery because “the art market is so strong in Southern California.”

The gallery debuts June 7 with the auction “Classic Hollywood,” featuring vintage animation art and entertainment memorabilia. The new gallery eventually will offer auctions in many specialties, as well as lectures and seminars. For information about the new gallery, call Christie’s at (310) 275-5534.

Other upcoming animation exhibits and events in Southern California include:

* “From the Chuck Jones Archives,” running indefinitely at the Studio Gallery, Old Town, San Diego.

This exhibition features a number of items from the famous animator, including storyboards, layout drawings, photographs, original press clippings, original backgrounds and more from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and other Chuck Jones animated productions. Call (888) 294-9880 for information.

* “A Collector Reception Honoring Maurice Noble,” 7-9 p.m., April 9, Warner Bros. Studio Store Gallery, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa.

Collectors at this event can browse the gallery, purchase newly released art and previously sold-out pieces, as well as meet animator Maurice Noble, Call (714) 433-1235 for information.

* “Hello, Dahling! It’s the 101st Day of the Year!,” 5-8 p.m., April 11, the Walt Disney Gallery, Main Place Mall, Santa Ana.

Marc Davis, creator and animator of Cruella de Vil for the animated version of Walt Disney’s “101 Dalmatians,” will be on hand to sign certificates of authenticity for selected art from Disney Art Classics sold the day of the event. Phone orders will not be accepted for signed items. For information, call (714) 543-2497.

* “The Pirates of the Caribbean 30th Anniversary Celebration,” ongoing, the Disney Gallery, Disneyland, Anaheim.

The exhibit features conceptual drawings, paintings and models used to create Disneyland Paris and “The Indiana Jones Adventure” alongside a wide variety of animation art and collectibles. Call (714) 781-7531 for information.

* “Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble,” 6:30-8:30 p.m., April 18, the Chuck Jones Showroom, Corona del Mar.

The day will feature appearances by Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble, as they sign for the release of their first collaborative Warner Bros. limited edition, “Operation Earth.” Both artists will be available to dedicate artwork purchased at the event. Call (800) 958-7175 for information.

* Auction, 1 p.m., April 19, Howard Lowery Gallery, Burbank.

Auction of classic animation cels and drawings, story sketches and background paintings, with a focus on art from Disney Studios, but also including original art from Warner Bros., MGM and other major studios. There will be a two-week preview of artwork in advance of the auction. A catalogue should be available by the end of March. Call (818) 972-9080 for details.

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