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Academy Unveils Design for New Museum of Motion Pictures; Set to Open in 2016

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by Beth Hanna
October 19, 2012 1:32 PM
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Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali's design for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has reached its initial goal of $100 million toward the $250 million capital funding for its planned Museum of Motion Pictures at LACMA. And new designs have also been unveiled.

Award-winning architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali are designing the museum, slated to open in 2016. It will be located on the LACMA campus in the historic May Company Wilshire building in Los Angeles. The design aims to fully restore the Wilshire and Fairfax street-front facades of the 1938 Streamline Moderne building, and will include a new spherical glass addition at the back.

Immersive exhibitions and galleries, special screening rooms, and an interactive education center with demonstration labs will all be part of the museum's features. Programming will draw from the Academy's extensive collections and archives, which include more than 140,000 films, 10 million photographs, 42,000 original film posters, 10,000 production drawings, costumes, props and movie-making equipment, as well as behind-the-scenes personal accounts from artists and innovators working in the motion picture industry.

The long-gestating idea for the museum was originally hatched in the 1960s, and then stalled for many years. In 2011, plans for the museum were transferred to the current LACMA space. In early 2012, Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg helped to procure a special gift for the new museum: The ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz." The slippers that will be on display are actually the fourth of four pairs used during the production of the film, and in the most pristine condition. Called the "Witch's shoes," it is likely this pair was worn by the gangly stockinged feet of the Wicked Witch of the East after Dorothy's house lands on her.

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