Los Angeles’ long-awaited museum dedicated to the magic of movies will open this year and feature tributes to the late Kirk Douglas.
The idea for an Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was first floated nearly a century ago, and its current futuristic incarnation has been beset by delays.
On the eve of the Academy’s flagship event – the Oscars – a nearly completed site was opened to journalists on Friday, showcasing a gleaming sphere made of glass, steel, and concrete containing a state-of-the-art 1,000-seat theater.
The orb-like structure – designed by Renzo Piano “as if it were floating” to symbolize “the fantasy and magic of the movies” – is connected by sky bridges to a converted department store housing the main galleries.
Among the 13 million photographs, scripts, costumes, props and more in the Academy’s collections are Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from “Wizard of Oz,” Bela Lugosi’s cape from 1931’s “Dracula” -- and items related to Douglas.
“We’re close with the Douglas family. We have artifacts related to Kirk, his story will be in the museum,” director Bill Kramer told AFP.
The items “will be weaved throughout the stories of cinema” in the galleries.
Douglas, one of the last superstars of Hollywood’s golden age of cinema and renowned for his intense, muscular performances in “Spartacus” and “Paths of Glory,” died Wednesday aged 103.