22 Sep 2021, 11:38

Los Angeles to open 'Parthenon of film museums,' says Tom Hanks

  LOS ANGELES, Sept 22, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Los Angeles is finally getting a
museum for movies -- and it's about time, said Tom Hanks, as he welcomed
journalists to a special pre-opening event Tuesday.

  The world capital of filmmaking and home of Hollywood boasts museums for
everything from natural history to selfies, but until now has never had one
dedicated to the silver screen.

  After decades of delays, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens to the
public next week.

  "It matters for Los Angeles to have this film museum," said double-Oscar
winner Hanks, who serves as a trustee.

  "We all know that films are made everywhere in the world, and they are
wonderful films. And there are other cities with film museums.

  "But with all due respect, a place like Los Angeles, created by the Motion
Picture Academy... this museum has really got to be the Parthenon of such

  Upon opening, the museum -- run by the Oscar-awarding Academy -- will be
the largest film-dedicated museum in North America.

  Drawing on some $390 million funding from Hollywood institutions old and
new -- including Disney, Warner and Netflix -- and beyond, the building was
designed by famed architect Renzo Piano.

  Piano reworked a historic 1930s department store to house the museum's main

  He added the gleaming, orb-shaped David Geffen Theater, which appears to
hover above the museum's courtyard, inviting some obvious comparisons to the
"Star Wars" films.

  "Don't call this the Death Star!" joked Piano, at Tuesday's press

  "Call it the Zeppelin. A Zeppelin to take you [to] a different world."

  The museum presents a broad overview of more than a century of motion
pictures from around the world.

  Modern Tinseltown treasures include costumes from "Bram Stoker's Dracula,"
an orc from "The Lord of the Rings," the amphibian man from "The Shape of
Water," and "Star Wars" droids C-3PO and R2-D2.

  Older heirlooms include a "Rosebud" sled from "Citizen Kane," regularly
named the best film ever made.

  Only three wooden sleds were ever made -- on set, director Orson Welles
wasn't happy with the first take, but wrapped filming after the second was
thrown onto a furnace for the film's climactic scene, meaning the third

  "Do we need a movie museum? Yeah. Because we need to celebrate everything
that this town has brought to the world," said Hanks.

  The museum's temporary space opens with an exhibition of Japanese animator
Hayao Miyazaki's work, leading visitors through a "tree tunnel" inspired by
classic "My Neighbor Totoro" to see sketches of flying castles and early
character designs.

  "We want to bring through all of the international and diverse stories of
moviemaking through our galleries," museum director Bill Kramer told AFP.

  After a star-studded opening gala Saturday, the museum opens to the public
on September 30.

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