Cover The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open its doors to the public on September 2021 (Photo: Josh White, JWPictures/ Academy Museum Foundation)

The Academy Museum will include exhibitions and programs that will illuminate the fascinating world of cinema

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures—the largest institution in the US devoted to the arts, sciences and artists of moviemaking—is opening its doors to the public on September 30, 2021 to offer experiences and insights into movies and moviemaking.

The 300,000-square-foot museum campus in Los Angeles was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano and boasts seven stories of immersive permanent and temporary exhibition galleries including a conservation studio, special event spaces, a cafe and a store. The dynamic film centre will be connected to its neighbouring Saban Building via glass bridges, which will include a state-of-the-art 1,000-seat theatre, rooftop and family terrace with sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills.

"We will open the Academy Museum with exhibitions and programs that will illuminate the complex and fascinating world of cinema—its art, technology, artists, history, and social impact—through a variety of diverse and engaging voices. We will tell complete stories of moviemaking—celebratory, educational, and sometimes critical and uncomfortable," says Bill Kramer, director and president of the Academy Museum.

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"We know that we are working towards the opening of the Academy Museum during a time of great challenges but also a time of great enlightenment. Over the past century, motion pictures have reflected and impacted major historical issues and events. The stories we tell in the Academy Museum are part of those bigger stories, and we are committed to highlighting the social impact of motion pictures," he adds.

For its opening, a total of five inaugural exhibitions will be on display. The core exhibition, Stories of Cinema, will span three floors and connect audiences to the celebratory, complex, diverse and international history of motion pictures. All aspects of the arts and sciences of filmmaking will be explored here highlighting different movies, artists, eras, genres and more.

The second exhibition will celebrate the works of renowned Japanese animation director and Tatler's Culture List 2021 honouree, Hayao Miyazaki. It marks the first retrospective in the Americas dedicated to the acclaimed filmmaker and his own. The exhibition will feature more than 300 objects and explore Miyazaki's six-decade career including his animated feature films such as My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away.

The next exhibition, The Path to Cinema: Highlights from the Richard Balzer Collection, will be on the museum's Saban Building. It will look at the history of visual entertainment that led toward the invention of cinema such as shadow plays, peepshows, magic lanterns, zoetropes, praxinoscopes to the Cinématographe Lumière, the world's first successful film projector.

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Backdrop: An Invisible Art will put the spotlight on a monumental backdrop, the iconic Mount Rushmore backing from Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest and will showcase both its artistry and contested imagery. The final exhibition, The Oscars Experience will allow visitors to recreate the experience of what it's like to receive an Oscars award.

In anticipation of the grand opening, the museum will also be launching a series of programs in late September including panel discussions with film industry leaders, gallery tours, screenings, workshops and educational offerings from families and students to illuminate the world of movies to people of all ages, backgrounds and areas of interest. Leading up to the opening, the museum also developed a series of virtual programs starting on April 22 2021, around the upcoming Academy Awards.

Kicking off the pre-opening virtual programs is Breaking the Oscar Ceiling, a conversation hosted by Academy Museum trustee Diane von Furstenberg and moderated by Academy Museum's Jacqueline Stewart. The two will be speaking with women who achieved historic Oscar milestones. Other pre-opening virtual programs include film screenings and conversation with artists such as trailblazing writer-director Spike Lee and Oscar-winning musician and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir. Workshops and education programs on how to use film as a teaching tool, the work of black VFX artists and a Hayao Miyazaki family day will also be available.

To see the complete list of programs, please visit the official website. Registrations will be opened closer to the event day and interested viewers can register on the site. Additionally, you may also subscribe to the newsletter to receive updates about new programs and the upcoming registration period. 

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