Hollywood's two-decade-old attempt to establish a motion picture museum took a leap forward last week with the announcement of a likely site for the $53-million facility.
Called the Hollywood Exposition, the museum would be located in the Hollywood Promenade, a proposed $150-million complex of offices, a hotel, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
The Promenade and museum would be on an eight-acre parcel on the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The development would include Mann's Chinese Theatre, famous for the footprints and handprints of celebrities in its forecourt.
Developer Melvin Simon & Associates has agreed to include the museum in its development and contribute between $5 million and $10 million toward it in the form of land, parking, the shell of the building or a combination of those elements.
Phyllis Holzman, executive director of the nonprofit museum, said negotiations are under way with Melvin Simon to determine the exact nature of the firm's participation.
At a press conference Thursday in the foyer of Mann's Chinese Theatre to announce the site selection, Holzman said that a $40-million fund-raising campaign will be started later this year. Money will be sought primarily from private and corporate donors.
Ground breaking for the entire Melvin Simon project is scheduled for 1988, with completion set for 1990. Hotzman said work on the museum probably will begin in 1989.
There have been at least three other efforts to establish a Hollywood museum in the 1960s and 1970s, all ending in failure.
But Holzman expressed confidence that this effort will succeed because of the commitment of a major developer, the beginning of a nearly $1-billion Hollywood Redevelopment Project and a development plan supported by major groups within the motion picture, television, radio and recording industries.
"Timing is everything and we believe we have it," Holzman said.
Former Roberti Aide
Holzman, a former aide to state Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti (D-Los Angeles), has been in charge of developing the museum idea with about $1 million in state planning funds obtained by Roberti.
The museum would spotlight all facets of the entertainment industry. A marketing study on the feasibility of the project indicates that more than 1 million people would visit the facility annually.
Roberti said at the press conference that for years people have come to Hollywood looking for the glamour of the motion picture industry but failed to find it.
"Now there will be a special place that will present the history and glamour of the entertainment industry for all to see and enjoy," he said.
City Councilman Michael Woo, who represents the Hollywood area, said, "We are bringing Hollywood back to Hollywood."