LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS) Museum on June 24. Funds for the project’s $300 million budget were partially raised by noted celebrities including Tom Hanks and Annette Bening, along with Disney CEO Bob Iger.
The six-story museum will be located along LA’s Miracle Mile, on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. It will share the same block as the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) and La Brea Tar Pits.
The vintage May Co. Building, built in 1939, currently sits on the future site of the AMPAS museum. It is expected not to be torn down, but renovated as part of the museum. The Academy previously used the building for the Hollywood Costume Exhibition from October 2013 to March 2014, which was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The Academy’s museum project has long been in the works, having been approved back in 2012. According to the Academy’s website, the museum will be dedicated to the film industry, featuring a number of movie exhibitions and galleries, theaters, and special events areas. It will especially showcase work that has received Oscar recognition in the past.
Museum Director Kerry Brougher stated, “…the museum will celebrate the rich history of Hollywood and filmmaking worldwide and will take a look behind the screen at the artistry and technological creativity that have made those unforgettable cinematic moments possible.”
News of approval for the project has not entirely been met with support, as many have criticized its architecture and size, as well as its location on Wilshire, an area problematic for traffic congestion and parking issues. Community activist group “Fix the City” has vocalized their opposition on this last point, pledging a continued fight against the fruition of the project.
The museum could provide a positive effect for the city’s tourism industry. A few years ago, Los Angeles, along with San Francisco, was a major contender for the location of a George Lucas museum titled the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which ultimately settled in Chicago. The AMPAS museum is expected to open in 2017.