David Geffen Donates $25 Million to Academy Museum

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David Geffen.

The museum's theater will be named The David Geffen Theater.

David Geffen has donated $25 million to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its new movie museum.

In recognition of the contribution, museum's theater will be called The David Geffen Theater. The theater will operate year-round and its programming will include film premieres, retrospectives, and symposia about the crafts of moviemaking. 

The commitment from the David Geffen Foundation is the largest commitment to date that the Academy's $300 million capital campaign has received.

 “David’s support of this project is transformative,” said Academy museum campaign chair Bob Iger. The capital campaign, which is co-chaired by Annette Bening and Tom Hanks, was launched in 2012 and has already secured more than half of its goal, the Academy said.

“This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the creation of an iconic architectural space and cultural institution that will combine the best of the old and the new and provide a permanent public home for the Academy’s rich tradition of honoring the shining stars of the cinematic arts." Geffen said.

Designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum will be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the Wilshire May Company building. Slated to open in early 2017, the Academy Museum will contain nearly 300,000 square feet of galleries, exhibition spaces, theaters, screening rooms, education centers, and special event spaces.

According to the Academy, the design for the museum will fully restore the Wilshire and Fairfax street-front facades of the original 1939 Streamline Moderne building. It also includes a spherical wing at the northern end of the original building that will replace an extension made to the structure in 1946. Designed to represent the marriage of art and technology, the wing will house The David Geffen Theater. 


"David’s enlightened philanthropy touches lives every day," said Dawn Hudson, the Academy's CEO. "His generosity and commitment to our museum are deeply inspiring to all of us working to make this long-held dream a reality."