Museum of the Moving Image reopens high-tech center for film art, history
NEW YORK – After closing in 2008 for a $67 million renovation and expansion, The Museum of the Moving Image will reopen its doors Saturday to a new three-story addition, a floating, 267-seat theater and expanded, high-tech galleries devoted to exploring the entire history and art of the movies.
The museum, founded in 1981 and located in Astoria, Queens, will have a rededication ceremony on Thursday before reopening to the public on Friday. Events planned for opening day include ongoing live music and video presentations, along with the unveiling of several hands-on exhibits (including one that allows visitors to add their voices to classic scenes in films such as “The Wizard of Oz”).
The upgrade doubles the size of the museum’s existing structure, which houses the U.S.’s largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to the art, history and technology of motion pictures. Its more than 130,000 artifacts include technical apparatus, still photos, licensed merchandise, design materials, costumes, fan magazines, publicity materials and historical movie theater furnishings.
The collection is open to scholars and film professionals for research purposes, curators say, and to the general public and anyone with an interest in film culture and history.
Its core exhibit, Behind the Screen, will include some 1,600 rotating items from the museum’s store of archives, 15 interactive displays and commissioned artworks. One component will present a comprehensive examination of how TV shows and films are created, produced, marketed and exhibited.
In addition to expanding the exhibition space, the renovation adds a courtyard garden, an education center, on-site collection storage, a café and museum store. The comprehensive expansion – featuring designs by architect Thomas Lesser – grows the institution’s total space from 50,000 to 97,700 square feet.
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