December 8, 2023

Film Academy’s Museum Connects With Visitors in First Year

“I met a guy a couple of weeks ago who said it was his 83rd visit to the museum and was committed to reading every label,” Stewart said.

If nothing else, Angelenos now have somewhere to take Hollywood-fascinated visitors that does not involve the dreaded Hollywood Highland shopping mall or the sticky, stinky Walk of Fame.

What the future holds is anyone’s guess. Tourism officials hope that 2023 will mark a full recovery for Los Angeles, which would benefit the museum; the number of visitors to the area, particularly from overseas, is still far behind prepandemic levels. But a recession could just as easily stymie growth.

The Academy Museum will also face increased competition in the years ahead. The adjacent Los Angeles County Museum of Art is in the middle of a colossal expansion. And construction has begun near downtown Los Angeles on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which will house items collected by George Lucas, including 20th-century American illustrations, comic books, costumes, storyboards, stage sets and other archival material from “Star Wars” and other movies.

For the academy, the continued financial health of its museum is of crucial importance. The construction debt is secured by the academy’s gross revenues, the vast majority of which come from the annual Oscars telecast. But awards revenue — after rising for decades — declined 10.8 percent in the academy’s 2021 fiscal year, reflecting plummeting Oscars viewership. Kramer, facing the likelihood that broadcast rights for the ceremony will continue to decline in value, perhaps dramatically, is scrambling to diversify the organization’s revenue streams.

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