Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Hits Pre-Opening Fundraising Goal

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Renzo Piano Building Workshop/Academy Museum Foundation/Image from L’Autre Image

Factoring in capital gifts, endowments, funding for education programs and other special gifts, the long-gestating Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has now met — and, in fact, exceeded — its pre-opening fundraising goal of $388 million, the museum announced on Friday.

A donation from the animation studio LAIKA moved the museum — which is located at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, and is set to open this spring — over the finish line, closing out a campaign that was launched in 2012 and overseen by chair Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks. A gallery dedicated to special collections will be named after the Oregon-based company.

More than 13,000 donors contributed to the campaign, the museum reported, with gifts coming from individuals, corporations, foundations and government entities. The largest contribution, $50 million, came from Cheryl Saban and Haim Saban; the portion of the museum that occupies the former May Company department studio will be named the Saban Building in their honor.

"This is a great day for the Academy Museum and the entire world of film," Iger said in a statement. "Thanks to the wonderful generosity of a broad community of donors, and to the commitment of co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks, we have proudly achieved our goal. The way ahead is clear, as we move at full speed toward an unforgettable grand opening in April 2021."

"Closing this fundraising campaign is an important and exciting milestone for the Academy Museum," added Bill Kramer, the museum's director and president. "We are deeply grateful to our campaign leadership and to our trustees, donors, and partners who have made important commitments to the campaign. Their support is helping to make the Academy's long-held dream of building the world’s premier film museum a reality."

Ted Sarandos, who recently succeeded Ron Meyer as the chair of the museum's board of trustees, chimed in, "Thanks to the strong leadership of Bob Iger, the enlightened support of the Academy's Board of Governors, and the dedication of the Academy Museum's Board and staff, this new institution is now poised to deliver on its promise as the world's premier museum of film."