Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - LA to open ‘Parthenon of film museums’: Tom Hanks

LA to open ‘Parthenon of film museums’: Tom Hanks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Artifacts of cinema, from such film as 2001: A Space Odyssey, are displayed inside the Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures. AFP

LA to open ‘Parthenon of film museums’: Tom Hanks

Los Angeles is finally getting a museum for movies – and it’s about time, said Tom Hanks, as he welcomed journalists to a special pre-opening event on Tuesday.

The world capital of filmmaking and home of Hollywood boasts museums for everything from natural history to selfies, but until now has never had one dedicated to the silver screen.

After decades of delays, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens to the public next week.

“It matters for Los Angeles to have this film museum,” said double-Oscar winner Hanks, who serves as a trustee.

“We all know that films are made everywhere in the world, and they are wonderful films. And there are other cities with film museums.

“But with all due respect, a place like Los Angeles, created by the Motion Picture Academy . . . this museum has really got to be the Parthenon of such places.”

Upon opening, the museum – run by the Oscar-awarding Academy – will be the largest film-dedicated museum in North America.

Drawing on some $390 million funding from Hollywood institutions old and new – including Disney, Warner and Netflix – and beyond, the building was designed by famed architect Renzo Piano.

Piano reworked a historic 1930s department store to house the museum’s main galleries.

He added the gleaming, orb-shaped David Geffen Theater, which appears to hover above the museum’s courtyard, inviting some obvious comparisons to the Star Wars films.

“Don’t call this the Death Star!” joked Piano, at Tuesday’s press conference.

“Call it the Zeppelin. A Zeppelin to take you [to] a different world.”

The museum presents a broad overview of more than a century of motion pictures from around the world.

Modern Tinseltown treasures include costumes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, an orc from The Lord of the Rings, the amphibian man from The Shape of Water, and Star Wars droids C-3PO and R2-D2.

Older heirlooms include a “Rosebud” sled from Citizen Kane, regularly named the best film ever made.

Only three wooden sleds were ever made – on set, director Orson Welles wasn’t happy with the first take, but wrapped filming after the second was thrown onto a furnace for the film’s climactic scene, meaning the third survived.

“Do we need a movie museum? Yeah. Because we need to celebrate everything that this town has brought to the world,” said Hanks.

The museum’s temporary space opens with an exhibition of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s work, leading visitors through a “tree tunnel” inspired by classic My Neighbor Totoro to see sketches of flying castles and early character designs.

“We want to bring through all of the international and diverse stories of moviemaking through our galleries,” museum director Bill Kramer told AFP.

After a star-studded opening gala on Saturday, the museum opens to the public on September 30.


  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (