Full ScreenPhotos:Finally a Museum That Puts Cleopatra’s Scepter, Shirley Temple Memorabilia, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (Prosthetic) Severed Head Under One Roof
One morning last September, Lucas film president Kathleen Kennedy checked in on a Hollywood project that had been decades in development: the future Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, currently under construction in the landmark May Company department store building at Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles.
“I’ve been in the business for almost 40 years,” Kennedy said, addressing a gathering of studio executives, journalists, philanthropists, and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. Kennedy, who sits on the board of trustees, was speaking from inside the museum’s newly named Saban Building as construction cranes loomed outside. “I think I share with many people in this room that we’re all kind of incredulous that this could be a company town and we don’t have a motion-picture museum. We should have the world’s most preeminent motion-picture museum—and now we have the opportunity to have that.”
Long after Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks first bandied the idea about, the Academy Museum is finally scheduled to open in 2019. The Academy’s collections encompass an unparalleled stash of more than 12 million photographs, 80,000 screenplays, and 2,500 items from the fields of costume and production design, hair and makeup, and filmmaking technology. Vanity Fair got an early look at some of the objects that museum director Kerry Brougher intends to showcase. From a model plane used in the making of 1927’s Wings to the scepter carried in 1963’s Cleopatra, to a stunt head used for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg in 1991’s Terminator 2, the objects will help curators take visitors inside the story of cinema.
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