A look at plans for the Academy movie museum on Wilshire

Rendering of the museum lobby.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has posted a fairly detailed update on the plans to renovate the old May Co. department store at Wilshire and Fairfax into the movie museum Los Angeles has never had. Looking at the renderings, you can easily picture ten years or so from now when the museum has become a tourist destination and the Purple Line subway stops at Wilshire and Fairfax — the corner should again become a thriving, major crossroads almost a hundred years after A.W. Ross began developing his Miracle Mile. The museum is expected to open in 2017. Here's the preamble to the rupdate at Oscars.org.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures architects—Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali—have unveiled plans to adaptively reuse the original 1939 Wilshire May Company building while also creating an adjacent spherical addition that will house a state-of-the-art premiere theater. A five-story glass “spine” will connect the two buildings and will contain a people-moving system of stairs and elevators to connect visitors to the various floors of the Academy Museum.

The space program for the Academy Museum includes a grand piazza, vast galleries for both permanent and temporary exhibitions, two intimate theaters to complement the programming in the Premiere Theater, the Demonstration Stage, special event spaces, a full-service café, and a museum store.

Schematic design was completed in the summer of 2013 and design development—where design elements such as materials, structural elements, and lighting are refined—will be completed by the second quarter of 2014. Abatement, demolition, and construction
are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014, and the Academy Museum is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2017.

The update includes stories and photos on some of the treasures in the Academy's collection. "As one of the world’s most prominent stewards of moving image history, the Academy has been collecting and preserving movie-related materials since the 1930s. The Academy currently holds more than 12,000 production and costume design drawings, 165,000 films and videos, 10 million photographs, and 46,000 original posters. The Academy Collection documents the lives and careers of prominent artists and individuals from all areas of filmmaking, as well as the activities of production companies, studios,
and film organizations."

Curbed LA pulls some more highlights from the document.

Cross-section of the stage area.

The view from Fairfax Avenue.

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