Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opens to the Public on Sept. 30

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been a movie aficionado. When I was a teen and was still living in the Philippines I would ask my mom if we can see a movie when we went to the mall, whether a Filipino or Western movie. I would watch on our Betamax player classical movies such as West Side Story, Flashdance, Say Anything, Pretty in Pink and many more and got mesmerized. And so when I heard that the city of Los Angeles were building a museum that is dedicated to the movies, I got giddy and made sure to go on the first day of the opening. I was like, ‘How lucky I am to be living in Southern California and got invited as a press to witness the first day it opens to the public”. And there was I, left early in the morning drove from San Clemente and brushed off the two-hour traffic to get to Los Angeles. As I entered the ground, the first person I recognized was the mayor of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sitting with the audience and a bunch of media with their crew on the back covering the opening of one of the major landmarks in Los Angeles.

Press, guest and civic leaders in the audience at the first day opening to the public of the Academy Museum in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti with Ruchel Freibrun
Jimi Castillo, Tongva Spiritual leader in the Walt Disney Company Piazza

The dedication of the highly anticipated Academy Museum kicked off with a ceremony from the Tongva community which are the traditional caretakers of the water and land. The ceremony was performed by Jimi Castillo, Tongva Spiritual leader in the Walt Disney Company Piazza. The ribbon cutting were attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Director and President of the Academy Museum Bill Kramer, AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson, AMPAS President David Rubin, Gamechanger CEO Effie Brown, California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell, and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos.

Dorothy shoes from the Wizard of Oz
Taron Egerton wore this Elton John outfit for the movie Rocket Man

After the dedication, press and guests entered the museum in the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby. I personally went first to the Spielberg Family Gallery then made my way to the Backdrop room and saw Bruce Lee’s Nanchaku. This gave me memories during my childhood where Enter the Dragon movie became a pop culture phenom in the Philippines, as well as the music theme.

Bruce Lee exhibit
Nanchaku Bruce Lee used in his film -
The nanchaku Bruce Lee used in his movie

One of my favorite sections was the Academy Award history room where they showcased a collection of Academy Awards including 1929 Academy Award for Best Actress Mary Pickford for the silent movie “Coquette”. The room is circular shaped as well as the ceiling lights and the couch. I also visited Hayao Miyasaki exhibit. As you entered the Miyasaki exhibit you will feel you are in a forest but illuminated with green crystals (for lack of a better word) on the ceiling. Too bad there are no photos allowed but it’s one that best suited for children and and will delight anime fans. But my favorite of them all was the Oscar Experience (shown below) where you will be carrying an eight-pound Oscar trophy and act and wave as if you won a real Oscar. It was so much fun that when you see the finished video, it seemed real and you can send it to your family and friends.

First Academy Best Actress Mary Pickford for Coquette

Sandro T. from Orange County, an avid film fan remarked “I really enjoyed my experience at the Academy Museum. It was very special to me, not just because I was with my beautiful date but also because it was the first museum I’ve been to in two years due to pandemic. My favorite section of the exhibit is the room with all the projectors displaying the videos of the recipients of the academy awards. You can really feel their emotions as it is being projected in the room. I also enjoyed viewing Bruce Lee’s nunchucks, Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz slippers, the video audition room, and the fashion and costume design area. I was really impressed by the details of Leonardo DiCaprio’s body suit and King Kong’s mask.”

Kiana Valenciano
Kiana and Sandro at the opening of the Academy Museum in Los Angeles

Here are the currents exhibits:

Stories of Cinema
The museum consist of three floors of Stories of Cinema that displays the diverse and international stories of filmmakers and the works they created. In addition, it explores narrative and documentary films, both live action and animated. Stories of cinema can be found in Spielberg Family Gallery, the Wanda Gallery and the Rolex Gallery.

Backdrop: An Invisible Art
The exhibition at the Hurd Gallery highlights a colossal backdrop of Mt. Rushmore from 1959’s Alred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Backdrop recognizes the evolution and history of this production art form.

Ruchel Freibrun popbuff blogger at the Academy Museum

The Oscar Experience
The Oscar Experience at the East West Bank Gallery invites guest to feel the excitement of walking onto the stage and accepting the award. Guests receive the video via email as a memorabilia. This exhibition requires a separate fee.

The Path to Cinema: Highlights from the Richard Balzer Collection
The Path to Cinema delves into the evolution of optical amusement and devices from shadow play, magic lanterns, zoetropes to Cinematographe Lumiere – the world’s first successful film projector

The Pixar Toy Story 3D Zoetrope
The Pixar Toy Story 3D Zoetrope features 214 maquettes that bring Toy Story characters to life.

Hayao Miyazaki Retrospective
Hayao Miyazaki Retrospective in the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery explores all of his animated features including more than 300 objects – character designs, storyboards, layouts and more.

Hayao Miyasaki exhibition at the Academy Museum. Ruchel Freibrun, popbuff blogger

The building was originally May Company, a department store built in 1939 by the same architect responsible for another local iconic building: Los Angeles City Hall. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies. It is located at 6067 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA .

For more info visit

Pop culture or history buff, it’s a must to see the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Ruchel Freibrun popbuff blogger during the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles

Speak Your Mind