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LACMA director's salary

August 22, 2009

Re "LACMA Director's Top Dollar," by Alan Zarembo and Mike Boehm, Aug. 18: Let's see: The tax-paying public is denied a much-loved LACMA film series and various other programs so that the director of this tax-supported institution can be paid over $1 million a year to ask rich people to give money to make LACMA a better museum?

It seems to me the way to make the County Art Museum better is to fire director Govan and restore the programs his fabulous salary now makes impossible. I believe we can probably find some other worthy, at a fraction of the cost, willing to take on the task of going out "five or six night a week" to fundraise.

S.R. Willen

Beverly Hills

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I have lived in L.A. for 30 years and have watched LACMA steadily decline. Yes, it began as a modest museum, but back in the early '80s there were some excellent exhibitions, like the Russian avant-garde show, and a spirit of optimism about future purchases.

But today? All the money lavished on hiring Michael Govan, and putting up more ugly buildings like the Broad can't change the fact that this is a third-rate provincial museum with a mediocre, spotty collection.

Fortunately, L.A. does have one great museum: It's called the Norton Simon, and that's where the tourists go.

Marjorie Perloff

Pacific Palisades

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How petty can you get? Michael Govan's job is infinitely more important than that of the financiers and movie moguls who earn many times more than he does. If our community is serious about becoming a cultural center, it has to be willing to pay for talent.

We are fortunate that Govan is here, along with the likes of Dudamel and Domingo.

If LACMA's canceled film program was all that important, why don't the studios step up to the plate?

Mads B. Bjerre

Los Angeles

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We all mourn the loss of the LACMA Film Screenings and hope for their reinstatement, but until that happens there are other alternatives for the movie lovers of Los Angeles.

Through the generosity and support of their Friends groups, many branches of the Los Angeles Public Library offer free regular screenings of recent and classic motion pictures. Here at the North Hollywood Regional Branch, we screen at least 12 movies a month, including international cinema, classics (next month is Swashbuckler September), Great Books on Film, children's movies and teen favorites. Films are digitally projected on the library's big screen, where they can be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort. In addition, free popcorn is available at many showings.

A check of the library's website at www.lapl.org will list the schedule for each branch.

Jack Zafran

North Hollywood

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