This was just too obvious to ignore--with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opening a motion picture museum in LACMA's old May Company building, it would've been impossible not to make the Oscar statue-gold tube connection. LACMA director Michael Govan thought so too, telling the Hollywood Reporter today: "It was just screaming to be an Oscar." He says the idea has been discussed and could be executed in a way that would satisfy the city Office of Historic Resources (since the building is a historic-cultural monument). THR also reports that the Academy will still make improvements to the Hollywood land where it originally intended to build its museum (AMPAS told us all about those improvements, which include outdoor screenings and exhibition space, back in May). Demolition and cleanup on the 3.69 acres is already underway and AMPAS President Tom Sherak promises "we are not going to abandon that site." However, there are no firm long-term plans.
AMPAS's decision to move its museum into LACMA West, rather than building in Hollywood as it'd been planning for years, was made over about a year and a half (despite coming off as a total curveball)--talks started "informally" in spring 2010, but only really took off in April, when new AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson came in.
Meanwhile, LACMA had been working on a renovation of the May Company building (it'd said those plans were on hold due to fundraising problems), but Govan now says the Westside Subway, which should hit Fairfax around 2019, made the museum rethink everything (as quoted in THR): "We paused and said, 'that is a really important building and it really ought to have something fantastic in it,'?It needed to be a destination in it of itself. This will become again, as it was, one of the most famous buildings in Los Angeles. We are happy to move our plans around to other spaces."
Fundraising for the new version of the Academy museum started today and Hudson tells TheWrap the whole project should take three to five years, so it should beat the subway by at least a couple of years.
· New Academy Museum Could Feature Oscar on its Historic Façade [THR]
· Academy's Movie Museum Ditching Big Hollywood Site, Planning Move Into LACMA's Old May Co. Building [Curbed LA]