Ground Floor and Sub-Floor
The ground floor of the Academy Museum will be a dynamic space to welcome visitors into the Museum. An expansive and lively public piazza at the northern end of the Museum will open to the Museum's lobby, café, and gift store and will connect the Museum to the rest of the LACMA campus and to the community at large.
A majestic red carpet and Cannes-style grand staircase will take visitors from the piazza into the Academy Museum's soaring Premiere Theater–a spectacular new piece of contemporary architecture that will perfectly complement the existing Streamline Moderne building. The state-of-the-art theater will be in operation throughout the year and programming will include premieres of new films from an international roster of established and emerging directors; Academy screenings; major retrospectives; in-depth symposia; and high profile special events.
From the piazza, visitors can also enter the ground floor of the Academy Museum where they will find a two-story 12,000 square foot "Making Of..." exhibition. This permanent and interactive exhibition will recreate the experience of real-life theatrical moviemaking and will allow Museum visitors to make lasting memories while learning how to shoot and edit a film, light a set, oversee a voiceover session, score a film, overlay visual effects, color correct, become a Foley artist, utilize a green screen and more.
A 150-seat Demonstration Stage connected to the "Making Of..." exhibition will host Academy Members and other moviemaking professionals who will conduct clinics and master classes tied to the arts and sciences of moviemaking. It will also allow the Academy Museum to highlight the latest technological advancements in cinema.
Adjacent to the "Making Of..." exhibition, a two-story, 6,200 square foot Grand Touring Exhibition Gallery will present world-class travelling shows and groundbreaking special exhibitions. These exhibitions will play a very important role in building a broad base of support for the Museum and in attracting repeat visitors. They also will provide an opportunity to cover topics that cannot be included in-depth in the Museum's permanent exhibits. Some of these exhibitions may be developed in collaboration with other cultural and educational institutions, further expanding the Museum's audience and influence.
The lower level of the Academy Museum will contain many visitor amenities as well as access to visible collection storage that will give visitors a glimpse into a variety of components of the Academy Museum's permanent collection that are not currently on display—artifacts, props, scripts, posters, photographs, and other ephemera.
The mezzanine level of the Academy Museum will contain a 7,900 square foot lobby for the Premiere Theater. This lively and active space will serve as a gallery and meeting place for Museum visitors and moviegoers.
In addition, a 1,280 square foot Green Room will be located on the mezzanine level. This green room will be used by talent and VIPs who are hosting events in the Academy Museum and who are special guests at Academy Museum screenings, lectures, symposia, and special events.
The second floor of the Museum will include over 10,000 square feet devoted to this history of the movies. The Film History Gallery will be immersive, interactive, and comprehensive. Topics to be covered include: Lumière and the Cinématographe; Edison and the Kinetoscope and Vitascope; the Silent Age of Cinema; the rise and influence of the studio system; the defining of classic film genres—musicals, westerns, gangster films, horror films; the impact of World War II on movie making; film noir and the blacklist; the impact of television on the movie industry and how films became "big" in response—epics, 3D; the business of moviemaking—exhibitors, studios, guilds, agencies; foreign films; teen culture; independent cinema; animation throughout the decades; digital vs. film; the impact of new technologies; and more.
A 144-seat theater will be embedded within the Film History Gallery. This intimate theater will host screenings that are tied to the Museum's many exhibits. The theater will also showcase Academy film series and retrospectives, independent and experimental movies, and foreign films.
In addition, a 1,400 square foot Founders Room will be located on the second floor. For use by Academy Governors and generous donors to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the Founders Room will be a luxurious dining and special events space.
The third floor of the Museum will house a landmark permanent exhibition for the Museum–The History of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Awards. Motion pictures are the most celebrated art form of our time, and the Academy Award is the highest achievement in the motion picture industry. At 8,700 square feet, this multi-media and interactive exhibition will allow visitors to walk the red carpet, learn about the history of the Academy and the Academy Awards, explore the work of recent nominees, and even have the ability accept their own Oscar. Here visitors will have the unique opportunity to learn about the Academy's activities from Academy Members, and to experience the ultimate Hollywood moment—one that encapsulates all the passion, creativity, drama, and glamour of the Oscars.
Some highlights of this thrilling exhibition include: a history of the Oscar statuette; behind-the-scenes exploration of the history and mission of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and an interactive gallery that enables visitors to call up every Oscar winner in every category throughout the history of the Academy Awards. In addition, the exhibition will provide an opportunity to: find out more about every craft represented in the Academy; view still shots and film footage of Academy Award shows; and access videos of acceptance speeches of past Oscar winners. Displays of typed acceptance speeches, handwritten notes, and other related artifacts and ephemera tied to the Academy Awards will enhance the experience.
A 144-seat theater will be embedded within this gallery floor. The theater will screen films tied to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Awards.
The fourth floor will house the 1,500 square foot Academy Museum Education Center. The center will be home to the Academy's media literacy and moviemaking program for over 15,000 K–12 students each year. Media arts are the economic engine of Southern California and the program will provide a solid framework for students to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in a variety of forms. Students will develop essential skills of inquiry and self-expression that are necessary for citizens of a democracy. Capitalizing on the Academy's vast film archive, membership, and movie industry connections, the program will screen films, establish how movies are constructed, evaluate components of moviemaking and online media, explore messages in films and media, and investigate their cultural assessments. Students will become better cultural consumers as they learn how movies and other forms of media use images and characters to tell stories and convey cultural messages.
As part of the Museum's media literacy program, students will learn how to make movies, and Academy Members will speak about their work to provide a window into the professions that are available to these students. The Academy is committed to creating a home for all students—one where they will have access to high-quality educational and workforce development opportunities and acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become productive and engaged citizens. The Academy believes that communities thrive when dynamic cultural resources are created and made accessible to all residents.
In addition, the fourth floor will house an 8,700 square foot Special Exhibition Gallery that will present world-class touring exhibitions and groundbreaking special exhibitions on moviemaking. Many of these exhibitions may be developed in collaboration with other cultural and educational institutions.
The roof of the Academy Museum will be one of the most spectacular special event and scenic view spaces in Los Angeles. A breathtaking Rooftop Terrace overlooking Los Angeles will allow visitors to experience a one-of-kind and expansive view of the city—from Hollywood to the Pacific Ocean. It will also become the perfect place to host cocktail receptions, post-premiere parties, and other special events.
The rooftop's Special Event Dining Room and Garden will include seating for 1,000 and will become Los Angeles' leading location for galas, awards ceremonies, and Academy special events. The space will have both indoor and outdoor seating capabilities.
Piano's and Pali's design vision for the Academy Museum will revitalize the historic Wilshire May Company building, weave it back into the fabric of the city, and create a coherent arts campus that seamlessly connects with LACMA. Their design for the Academy Museum fully restores the historical Wilshire and Fairfax street-front facades and includes a soaring spherical addition at the northern end of the original building. Designed to represent the marriage of art and technology, the addition will house the Museum's state-of-the-art premiere-sized theater as well as a spectacular roof terrace with expansive views of the city.