Academy plans outdoor theater

H'wood venue had been intended as film museum

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has earmarked a 3.5- acre parcel of land in Hollywood as the site of an outdoor theater and event space instead of the movie museum it had originally intended.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that the Academy will open the 17,000-square-foot amphitheater next May as a venue to show classic films. The new facilities will be adjacent to the existing Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, which houses the academy’s film archive, the Nicholl Fellowship offices and the Science and Technology Council.

The academy bought the land in 2005 with plans to build a world-class film museum there. Planners abandoned that idea after the economy went sour, making it impossible to raise the funds needed to build a whole new facility. Selling the land is not an option until prices bounce back to 2005 levels, which is why academy president Tom Sherak told Variety in October that he wanted to use the land to benefit the community.

The academy is now actively fundraising to house the movie museum in the former May Co. department store now owned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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