By ANDREW DALTON, AP ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The spotlight is on. The ruby slippers are in place. Many Oscars shine. The shark is suspended and has been waiting for almost a year.
Nine years after its announcement, four years after its first scheduled opening date and five months since its last scheduled launch date, the American Academy of Cinema Museum is set to open to the public on September 30.
“I’m very moved to finally be able to say, hello, hello, welcome to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures,” Tom Hanks told reporters Tuesday at a media preview of the Los Angeles building and its exhibits. . .
Hanks, a board member, led fundraising for the project along with fellow actor Annette Bening and Walt Disney Co. executive chairman Bob Iger.
“We all know there are movies being made all over the world, and they are wonderful movies,” Hanks said. “And there are other cities with movie museums, but with all due respect, created by the Motion Picture Academy in Los Angeles, this museum really has to be the Parthenon of such places.”
The first thing most visitors will notice upon entering the building is Bruce, a 46 year old shark weighing 1,208 pounds (548 kilograms), 25 feet long (7.6 meters) made from the “Jaws” mold. . Bruce hangs above the bank of the main escalators and was hoisted there last November in anticipation of what was then a slated opening in April.
The inaugural featured exhibition celebrates the works of legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Others examine the work of directors Spike Lee and Pedro Almodovar.
Some galleries focus on the Oscars, with real statuettes won over decades and speeches projected on the walls.
The projected scenes are a theme in all the galleries of the museum, with the technology of the “magic lanterns” of the 18th century through silent films to the digital 3D technology of today.
Costumes from “The Wizard of Oz” to “The Wiz” are on display, including Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
Announced in 2012 and first slated to open in 2017, the museum has faced delays typical of such a project, but these have been made worse by a pair of pandemic postponements.
Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is a 300,000 square foot (27,871 square meters) space consisting of two buildings, one old, one new, on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue next door from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
“It’s bright, new and huge, and it’s packed with about 125 years of life-changing ideas, dreams and cinematic experiences,” actress Anna Kendrick said at the media preview. .
The oldest structure is the 1930s Saban Building, which once housed the May Company department store. It is connected by bridges to a new building topped by a terrace and a concrete and glass dome, the peculiarity of which could lead to a nickname.
Piano said on Tuesday he hoped it was “the soap bubble” and not something more cinematic.
“Please,” said the architect, “don’t call him the Death Star.”
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