"The museum has really got to be the Parthenon of such places," says Tom Hanks, double-Oscar winner actor who serves as a trustee. It will be the largest film-dedicated museum in North America.
Los Angeles is finally getting a museum for movies — and it's about time, said Tom Hanks, as he welcomed journalists to a special pre-opening event.
The world capital of filmmaking and home of Hollywood boasts museums for everything from natural history to selfies, but until now has never had one dedicated to the silver screen.
After decades of delays, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens to the public next week.
"It matters for Los Angeles to have this film museum," said double-Oscar winner Hanks, who serves as a trustee, at the event on Tuesday.
"We all know that films are made everywhere in the world, and they are wonderful films. And there are other cities with film museums.
"But with all due respect, a place like Los Angeles, created by the Motion Picture Academy... this museum has really got to be the Parthenon of such places."
The largest with a special architectural design
Upon opening, the museum — run by the Oscar-awarding Academy — will be the largest film-dedicated museum in North America.
Drawing on some $390 million funding from Hollywood institutions old and new — including Disney, Warner and Netflix — and beyond, the building was designed by famed architect Renzo Piano.
A new icon for L.A. The Academy Museum is out of this world with its superb reuse of the May Co. building and its Renzo Piano ‘Death Star’ THE DAVID GEFFEN THEATER, known colloquially as “the Death Star,” has added its silhouette to the LA skyline https://t.co/lzGOCMteCQ pic.twitter.com/93iLSV71gg— SD Museum Council (@gomuseums) September 21, 2021
Piano reworked a historic 1930s department store to house the museum's main galleries.
He added the gleaming, orb-shaped David Geffen Theater, which appears to hover above the museum's courtyard, inviting some obvious comparisons to the "Star Wars" films.
"Don't call this the Death Star!" joked Piano, at Tuesday's press conference.
"Call it the Zeppelin. A Zeppelin to take you [to] a different world."
Movies from around the world
The museum presents a broad overview of more than a century of motion pictures from around the world.
Modern Tinseltown treasures include costumes from "Bram Stoker's Dracula," an orc from "The Lord of the Rings," the amphibian man from "The Shape of Water," and "Star Wars" droids C-3PO and R2-D2.
The restored Aries 1B lunar-lander model from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - on permanent view at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, in Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/ZzGcpowr9X— Jim Maxwell (@1jcmaxwell) September 21, 2021
Older heirlooms include a "Rosebud" sled from "Citizen Kane," regularly named the best film ever made.
Only three wooden sleds were ever made — on set, director Orson Welles wasn't happy with the first take, but wrapped filming after the second was thrown onto a furnace for the film's climactic scene, meaning the third survived.
Do we need a movie museum? Yeah. Because we need to celebrate everything that this town has brought to the world.
The museum's temporary space opens with an exhibition of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's work, leading visitors through a "tree tunnel" inspired by classic "My Neighbor Totoro" to see sketches of flying castles and early character designs.
First look at the Hayao Miyazaki exhibition catalog published on the occasion of the 2021 inaugural exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (Los Angeles). pic.twitter.com/8TbEjtmnmc— cartoonbrew.com - Animation News (@cartoonbrew) September 19, 2021
"We want to bring through all of the international and diverse stories of moviemaking through our galleries," museum director Bill Kramer told AFP.
After a star-studded opening gala on Saturday, the museum opens to the public on September 30.