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Hollywood’s latest blockbuster isn’t playing on any streaming services. In fact, you can only experience it in one location: midtown Los Angeles. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures explores the 125-year history of global cinema, part of a stated mission to “turn the dream factory inside out.”

Nine years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the same organization that hands out the Oscars — commissioned Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Gensler to remodel the former May Company department store. (The art deco landmark has since been renamed the Saban Building.) Besides repairing its limestone cladding and cylinder of gold Venetian mosaic, the architects also replaced a later addition with a north wall of...

The Academy Film Museum Is Part Remake, Part Sequel

Renzo Piano and Gensler’s film museum co-stars a former department store and a spherical, spaceship-like cinema.

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