Academy Museum Planned at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) have taken a step toward realizing a museum dedicated to motion pictures and the creation of a new and unique cultural center for the city of Los Angeles. On Tuesday night (10/4), the Academy’s Board of Governors joined their LACMA counterparts in agreeing to sign a memorandum of understanding to work in good faith in establishing the Academy’s movie museum in the historic May Company building, currently known as LACMA West. The memo paves the way for the two organizations to discuss details of a future contract and for the Academy to begin developing plans for fundraising, design, exhibitions, visitor experience, and modifications to this historic site.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) have taken a step toward realizing a museum dedicated to motion pictures and the creation of a new and unique cultural center for the city of Los Angeles. On Tuesday night (10/4), the Academy’s Board of Governors joined their LACMA counterparts in agreeing to sign a memorandum of understanding to work in good faith in establishing the Academy’s movie museum in the historic May Company building, currently known as LACMA West. The memo paves the way for the two organizations to discuss details of a future contract and for the Academy to begin developing plans for fundraising, design, exhibitions, visitor experience, and modifications to this historic site.

The Academy will mount a new fundraising campaign for the museum, which will give visitors an entertaining and interactive experience illuminating the way movies reflect culture and the impact they have upon it. The museum is expected to feature both permanent and rotating exhibitions inside the facility’s 300,000 gross square feet.
LACMA West, which formerly housed the May Company department store, was built in 1939, one of the greatest years in film history with such releases as “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” “Finally, our industry will have a dedicated space where we can inform and excite people about the endless range and possibilities of motion pictures,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This new facility will make our resources and activities – our programming, our archives, and our library – even more visible and accessible all year round.” According to LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan, “This represents a seismic shift in the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, and an extraordinary new resource for residents proud of their local history, and for fans of cinema worldwide.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

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