This morning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences showed off the new Oscars Outdoors space, its outdoor screening site at Homewood and Vine (which will hopefully take some of the pressure off the Cinespia screenings at Hollywood Forever). The Academy spent upwards of $50 million buying the block up for a movie museum starting in 2006, but fundraising stalled out and eventually a deal was made with LACMA to bring the museum to the old May Company building at Wilshire and Fairfax--by then, the Academy had already promised to turn the Homewood land into an outdoor screening and event space in order to stave off blight. At a press event today, Academy President Tom Sherak repeatedly pledged the organization's devotion to the community and said it will continue to work on the site (next up: repurposing the old yoga studio on the north side, probably into an exhibition space). He said it was "not easy for anyone" to ditch the Vine St. museum plans, but that "We are thrilled to be keeping our ties to Hollywood."
Work started on the two and a half acre space in July 2011 (see in progress photos here), with architecture by Fran Offenhauser of Offenhauser/Mekeel Architects and landscape work by Daniel Busbin Landscape Architecture. The site includes a lawn in front of a 40 by 20 foot screen and a 10,000 square foot plaza. According to Sherak, the Academy has spent more than $2 million on improvements so far ("We'll spend more," he added).
Screenings at OO start June 15 and will run through August 18, with gates opening at 6:30 pm and films starting at sunset. Friday nights will be "classics and contemporary favorites" for grownups (Raising Arizona, Shane) and Saturdays will be for families (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, The Goonies). Short films will show in front of most of the features. Tickets will be $5 for general admission, $3 for Academy members and students, and free for kids under 10 (tickets will be sold on oscars.org). The Academy also plans to use the space for receptions and other programming.
At the press event, Sherak half-jokingly asked City Councilmember Eric Garcetti about closing the surrounding streets on Friday and Saturday nights to make room for more people. Garcetti said he'd look into it, so this could get big.
The screening site sits next to the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, which includes the Linwood Dunn Theater; altogether they're calling the properties the Academy Hollywood (and are taking naming sponsorships, if anyone's offering!). Here's the full Oscars Outdoors screening schedule for this summer:
Friday, June 15: CASABLANCA?
Saturday, June 16: SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
Friday, June 22: RAISING ARIZONA
?Saturday, June 23: FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
Friday, June 29: A STAR IS BORN (1937)
?Saturday, June 30: THE GOONIES?
Friday, July 6: SHANE?
Saturday, July 7: THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1996)
Friday, July 13: TO BE ANNOUNCED ?
Saturday, July 14: THE PRINCESS BRIDE
??Friday, July 20: PILLOW TALK ?
Saturday, July 21: THE KARATE KID (1984)
Friday, July 27: DREAMGIRLS
?Saturday, July 28: THE DARK CRYSTAL
Friday, August 3: NORTH BY NORTHWEST?
Saturday, August 4: STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.
Friday, August 10: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
?Saturday, August 11: BACK TO THE FUTURE
Friday, August 17: Audience Choice (vote on www.oscars.org/outdoors)?
Saturday, August 18: THE WIZARD OF OZ (Sing-Along)
· Academy Has Big Plans for Hollywood Parcels, But No Museum Yet [Curbed LA]
· Oscars Outdoors [Oscars.org]