David Geffen donates $25 million to the Academy, gets a theater named after him

Posted by · 9:52 am · April 8th, 2013

Lots of rumblings from the lab over at the Academy these days. Details have surfaced on what to really expect from that big May 4 membership meeting and today the organization has announced that entertainment industry magnate David Geffen has donated $25 million to the Academy’s ongoing Museum of Motion Pictures project, which is enough to land his name on the big theater planned for the space. Hawk Koch sure is making a lot of waves on his watch.

The gift was made as part of the museum’s $300 million capital campaign and is the largest commitment received to date, according to the press release. The David Geffen Theater will be a premiere-sized venue on the campus, which will be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the historic Wilshire May Company building on Wilshire Blvd.

“David’s support of this project is transformative,” blurbs campaign chair Bob Iger in the release. “It takes a large and diverse group of supporters to build a project on the scale of the Academy Museum. David joins an esteemed group of individuals, companies, and foundations who are leading the charge.”

Iger’s co-chairs on the campaign are actors Annette Bening and Tom Hanks. The facility is slated to open in early 2017 and will contain nearly 300,000 square feet of state-of-the-art galleries, exhibition spaces, theaters, screening rooms, education centers, and special event spaces.

Adds Geffen in the release, “I’m pleased to support the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. 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.”

The museum will be designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali.

The David Geffen Theater will be a year-round operation. Programming will feature major restorations, premieres, symposia and, I’m sure, much, much more.

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