Academy Museum: Take the tour with LILA Gazette

From the replicas of costumes to a life-size model of the shark from Jaws, The Academy Museum of Motions Picture has it all. The long wait of an official museum of movies in the city of movies is over, and we are gifted with a gorgeous masterpiece. Come with us as we explore the jewel of the Los Angeles.

By Alexander Loginov/11th grade

Photo by Joshua White
JWPictures/Academy Museum Foundation

As you enter the building, you are greeted with the Spielberg Family Gallery. Here, you can read and learn about the beginnings of film, as well as getting a glance at early works of film. It features a dark room with countless screens showing small snippets of film taken from literal centuries of movie-making. You could leave the room and enter again seeing a completely different set of clips, creating a completely new experience for the visitor.

How did Films Get Their Origins?

Going up the escalator to the second floor, you enter the Stories of Cinema section.

Here, big screens show clips of movies as well. However, it is noticeable how they come from more modern movies. While Spielberg’s Gallery showed the origins of film, this wing explores the origins of the film we know nowadays. Proceeding down the hallway of screens, you are bestowed with a board that shows the components of movie-making and introduces the next portion of the second floor; significant movies and movie makers. This section highlights key figures in the movie industry, from well known actors to revolutionary movie directors. It shows artifacts and props to allow the visitor to visualize the processes that goes into the industry.

Annie Debreu/LILA Gazette

As you proceed through the floor, you enter the Academy Awards slice of the museum. It begins with a circular golden room with a circular couch in the middle, vaguely resembling the base of a trophy. It is full of academy awards that can be awarded for different categories. This includes things such as cinematography, best picture, best actor, production design, and more. As you proceed through the circular room, you are presented with a huge, dark space surrounded by screens showing clips full of speeches by winners of previous Oscars. In the middle is a large table showing the timeline of many notable winners. 

Annie Debreu/LILA Gazette

Take a Walk on the Yellow Brick Road

Continuing through the floor, you enter a bright orange room full of memorabilia. This includes posters, previous Oscars, and props. This is the prerequisite to the main attraction of the floor; the Wizard of Oz room. Here you can see, with detail, the amount of effort that was required to launch such a large project like that in such an early time in cinema history. The room encompasses many aspects of the movie making industry, such as how the films use multiple costumes for one character, new technology, and the use of different techniques.

Continuing through the floor, the next room is one to see; the costume section. At least 20 costumes are scattered throughout the room, but the main one in the middle is what will catch your eye; “The May Queen”. It is a 30 pound dress composed of 10,000 silk flowers.

Annie Debreu/LILA Gazette

The next floor encompasses two main features; animation and iconic characters. The animation fraction of the floor gives light to the animation side of the cinematic world. This includes showing the early stages of animation, as well as displaying multiple animated characters we know and love.

See Your Favorite Movie Character in Real Life!

Proceeding through the hallway, there is a sudden change. While the animation section had a light and cheerful theme to it, the next room has a severe contrasting dark tone. It were as if you had just stepped into a movie theater. Here, there are many iconic characters like Edward Scissorhands, R2D2, and the monster from The Shape of Water, all trapped in glass cages, as if they were stuck in time. 

Annie Debreu/LILA Gazette

Finally, after a long 2 hour expedition through the museum, you are rewarded with a stunning view of Los Angeles. With the famous Hollywood sign in the distant hills and the surrounding beauty that it comes with, you truly feel like a part of the city.

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