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Geffen Foundation Commits $25 Million to Academy Museum

Opening date for museum moved to early 2017

The upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received a $25 million commitment from the David Geffen Foundation — the largest pledge to date for the project.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which is in the midst of a $300 million capital campaign, also quietly said that the scheduled opening of the museum has been moved from 2016 to early 2017.

In recognition of the $25 million gift, the Academy said it will name the museum’s premiere-sized theater the David Geffen Theater. The theater will operate throughout the year, with programming that includes premieres of films from an international roster of established and emerging filmmakers, major retrospectives, in-depth symposiums and high-profile special events.

“This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the creation of an iconic architectural space and cultural institution that will combine the best of the old and the new,” Geffen said, “and provide a permanent public home for the Academy’s rich tradition of honoring the shining stars of the cinematic arts.”

The Academy passed the $100 million mark in fundraising in October and said today it is more than halfway toward its goal.

“David’s support of this project is transformative,” said Academy Museum campaign chair Bob Iger. “It takes a large and diverse group of supporters to build a project on the scale of the Academy Museum. David joins an esteemed group of individuals, companies, and foundations who are leading the charge.”

Said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson: “David’s enlightened philanthropy touches lives every day. His generosity and commitment to our museum are deeply inspiring to all of us working to make this long-held dream a reality.”

Designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum will be located on Wilshire and Fairfax next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the historic May Co. building. Piano designed the Broad Contemporary Art Museum that is next door to the May Co. building on the LACMA campus.

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