Mometum builds for Los Angeles movie museum

The wacky art-deco building that sits on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, was recently designated the future site of L.A.‘s first comprehensive movie museum.

The joint partnership between the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and LACMA has the potential to further burnish the prestige of the block, as well as the cultural cache of the entire city, which, has never adequately preserved a curated history of its most defining asset.

But the journey to realizing this dream will be a long one—with a projected fundraising goal in the hundreds of millions, making it clear that if Hollywood wants a place to house its pride, somebody’s going to have to pay for it.

Fortunately Tinseltown is flush with an embarrassment of riches. And as any synagogue president can attest, the best way to raise money is to enlist solicitors who can’t be refused, and the Academy appears to have met that challenge: Earlier today, it was announced that Walt Disney Co. President and CEO Bob Iger will chair the capital campaign for the project, with Annette Bening and Tom Hanks serving as co-chairs.

In the official announcement, Iger promised that the 300,000 square-foot facility will be “a bold new way of saving and presenting film history.” The museum, he said, “will innovate not only the museum experience, but also the public’s relationship to the art form.”

For his part, Hanks spoke to the universal importance of Hollywood’s influence around the world: “The movies have done so much to shape world culture and our own lives. Preserving and sharing their history with the public should be an important undertaking for us all.”