Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, bills itself as the world’s largest museum devoted to the movies. And when roaming the extensive collections across multiple floors of the historic Wilshire May Company building, one can believe it.

The museum comprises that building, opened in 1939 as the May Company Building and extensively remodeled when the museum opened in 2021, and the adjacent Sphere Building. The latter houses the David Geffen Theatre and the Dolby Family Terrace, which affords visitors spectacular views of the city, looking north toward Hollywood. Though the museum often seems more concerned with representational quotas and politics than the history of film, it’s nevertheless an astonishing addition to the city of Los Angeles and the world of cinema, not just for its exhibits but for its theaters’ ability to project DCPs, 35mm, 70mm and nitrate film.

The photos below, taken in 2023, are copyright MeierMovies, LLC, and may not be used without written permission and copyright credit. Click to enlarge and to see a description of each photo, which will appear in your browser window. Highlights include the exhibits devoted to The Godfather, Casablanca, famous costumes and props, and the history of early cinema and pre-cinema, including a fascinating display of magic lanterns.

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