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Academy Museum to Open Dec. 14, 2020

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open on Dec. 14 on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles — eight years after the project was first announced.

Tom Hanks, a museum trustee and co-chair of the Academy Museum campaign with chair Bob Iger and co-chair Annette Bening, made the announcement during the Oscars telecast on Sunday.

“There is plenty of culture to be found in the City of Angels, but there has never been a museum dedicated to the art and science of motion pictures,” Hanks said.

Academy Museum Director Bill Kramer said in statement, “We cannot wait to welcome the whole world to the Academy Museum. When our doors open on December 14, our thrilling combination of exhibitions, screenings, and public and educational programs will create unparalleled experiences for movie lovers everywhere.”

The opening date announcement comes two weeks after Academy President David Rubin said at the Oscar nominees luncheon that fundraising for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures had reached more than $368 million in pledges and cash, making up 95% of its $388 million campaign goal.

The facility is located at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, where the former May Co. department store was located. The museum was first announced in 2012 with chair Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Hanks, when the Academy unveiled plans by architect Renzo Piano, and projected that the museum would open in 2016. The Academy launched a $250 million fundraising campaign and collected $200 million in pledges. After that, however, fundraising stalled and costs ballooned.

The facility will include the Barbra Streisand Bridge, the Steve Tisch Terrace, the East West Bank Gallery and the Bob Iger and Willow Bay Terrace. PwC has named the exhibition on Academy Awards history, and Wendy Stark of The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation has underwritten the museum’s restaurant.

One of the largest previously announced gifts came from Haim and Cheryl Saban, who pledged $50 million in September 2017. The main building of the museum — housed in the former May Co. department store — will be named the Saban Building.

The museum held a tour on Friday for the news media, including the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater at 300,000 square-foot Renzo Piano-designed campus.

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