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Academy raises $100 million for movie museum project

October 18, 2012|By Nicole Sperling
  • Conceptual art illustrating architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Peli's vision for the new film academy museum to be housed at the historic May Co. building on Fairfax and Wilshire.
Conceptual art illustrating architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Peli's… (Academy of Motion Picture…)

The long-awaited movie museum in Hollywood moves another step closer to fruition with the announcement today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that it has raised its first $100 million in its goal to generate $250 million toward the new institution.

The academy also announced its vision for the museum, slated to open in 2016, by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, which will include the complete restoration of the old May Co. building -- a 1938 Streamline Moderne structure -- located on Wilshire and Fairfax. It was purchased by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and its 300,000 square feet of space will house the academy museum.

The two architects announced that they intend to add a "spherical glass addition" to the back of the original building, which will house a state-of-the-art theater and will replace an extension made to the structure back in 1946.

"The design for the museum will finally enable this wonderful building to be animated and contribute to the city after sitting empty for so long," Piano said in a statement. "Our design will preserve the May Company building's historic public profile while simultaneously signaling that the building is taking on a new life that celebrates both the industry and art form that this city created and gave to the world."

The academy's fund-raising efforts led by Disney Chairman Bob Iger and actors Annette Bening and Tom Hanks has raised $100 million from the chairs of the committee, academy governors such as John Lasseter and Rob Friedman, past academy presidents such as Sid Ganis and Tom Sherak and current President Hawk Koch.

Each of the major film studios contributed money to the effort along with corporate partners such as Dolby Labs, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Technicolor and The New York Times.

Industry guilds such as the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America, West also have donated money to the museum efforts, along with individuals such as Jerry Bruckheimer, Alan Horn and Bob Shaye.

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