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Academy’s Museum of Motion Pictures Unveils More Details of Glitzy Remodel

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has unveiled more details of the design for the new Museum of Motion Pictures to be constructed in the old May Co. location at Wilshire Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles. A chief curator and a museum director will likely be hired in the next year to guide the launch.

Designed by Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the remodeled department store (which the Academy is leasing from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) will see radical changes to the gold mosiac art moderne column and black and white facade that gave the building its historic landmark designation. In the rear of the museum along Fairfax, an elevated glass dome will accommodate 1,000 viewers in the museum’s largest theater, which will host movie premieres and retrospectives

The museum is targeting a 2017 opening, with “design development” such as materials and lighting to be completed in the second quarter of this year, according to the Academy. Demolition and construction are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter. Two other theaters includes the 100-seat Demonstration Stage, which is planned to host movie pros conducting technical demonstrations and master classes and a 141-seat theater.

A roof garden will accommodate 1,000 people for events and parties, and a cafe and gift shop will be open to the public. The Academy’s collection already includes numerous drawings, posters and other material such as Dorothy’s ruby slippers, though the collection is still light on the amount of props, costumes or other artifacts that will fill the two “vast galleries” the design promises. Traveling shows such as LACMA’s Stanley Kubrick and Tim Burton shows will help boost the programming. Permanent exhibitions will include one devoted to the history of the movies and an interactive “making of” exhibit demonstrating the moviemaking process.

A complete description of the project is available on the Oscars.org site.

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