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Academy Museum Gets $15m Boost



The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is due to open in 2017.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is due to open in 2017.

Just now the Academy announced three $5 million donations towards its ambitious plans for the Academu Museum of Motion Pictures, to open in 2017. The new museum will be the mecca for film scholars, critics, and makers, with over 300,000 feet of exhibition space, educational centers, galleries, screening rooms, and special events space. It’s an exciting project that will further cement Los Angeles as the hub of the global film industry, and with donations such as these rolling in it looks certain to be a reality. The three $5 million naming gifts are donated by producer and Academy Governor Gale Anne Hurd, philanthropist and CEO of Onex Gerald Schwartz and his wife Heather Reisman, and the family of the iconic film exhibitor Ted Mann—Victoria Mann Simms (Ted Mann’s daughter), her husband Ron Simms and their family.

“Our plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures are ambitious, and the support of a diverse and committed group of partners will help to make our vision possible,” noted Academy Museum Campaign Chair Bob Iger. “We are incredibly grateful for these vital commitments to the project.” The Academy launched the Museum’s capital campaign in 2012 and has already secured more than half of the campaign’s goal in commitments. The campaign is co-chaired by Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.

Designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum will be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in the historic Wilshire May Company building. Support from Gale Anne Hurd will fund the creation of Academy Museum’s Demonstration Stage, which will be called The Hurd Stage. The Hurd Stage will host Academy members and other industry professionals who will conduct clinics and master classes tied to the arts and sciences of moviemaking. It also will allow the Academy Museum to highlight the latest technological advancements in cinema and to provide an immersive introductory experience for visitors.

Support from Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman will fund the Museum’s mezzanine lobby and gallery space, which will be called the Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman Mezzanine Gallery. Adjacent to the Academy Museum’s premier theater, this space will be a lively and interactive space that will also serve as a gallery, reception area, and meeting place for Museum visitors and moviegoers.

The Simms/Mann Family Foundation will support the creation of an intimate theater on the third floor of the Museum to be named The Ted Mann Theater. The Ted Mann Theater will be a home for retrospectives, screening series, and special programming, and will be embedded within a permanent exhibition devoted to the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Oscars.

“The outpouring of support for our Academy Museum has been extraordinary,” added Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Each one of these donors has a special connection to the entertainment community and we are thrilled and honored to count them as Founding Supporters of the Academy Museum.”

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