City of Angels and Angles today only had to walk up the street from our Miracle Mile office to take a peek at the blown-out setting for what looks like a future blockbuster. Naturally, this being L.A., I drove.
Sorry, Mr. Bay, it’s not your back lot version of America 2125. This site belongs to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , and while it’s clearly not ready for its Hollywood close-up yet, the future Academy Museum promises to be a game changer when it debuts.
Game changer in both good and potentially bad ways.
Not only will it up the glitz/glamour quotient of the area, but it will change the game for traffic in and around the middle of already overcrowded Wilshire Blvd. Such is the price to pay for bringing yet another world class showcase to the Museum Square area, joining LACMA’s redesigned future campus and the red-clad Petersen, Automotive Museum, which revs its engines right across the street.
Here’s what the front looks like now, the gold façade still familiar to longtime Los Angeles residents as the former May Company Department Store. If you’re not quite that old you still might remember the building as the place that had the King Tut exhibition over a decade ago.
That cool deco front façade is sure to change into something spectacular, but nothing will match the impact of the giant glass bubble that will eventually replace the growing rubble pile on the other side of the enormous structure. Surely this futuristic fish bowl as theatre entertainment venue will displace the floating rock at LACMA as the most popular sort-of-circular tourist destination in town. The balls at MacArthur Park lake held that title in the fall but they are gone now.
With Angelenos and tourists alike pouring in to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers in the museum, and to try and get close enough to see the inevitable only-in-Hollywood Lady Gaga meets Tom Hanks meets Johnny Knoxville appearances at film premieres, and, oh yeah, maybe even a little annual event called the Academy Awards, get ready Miracle Mile for that game changer of all game changers.
Perhaps a few people will leave their cars at home and take the subway that’s being built underneath it all that will have station right at the front door to the museum. They’ll probably tear down the long-closed Johnnies restaurant for the station, and that place was already destroyed in “Volcano” Mr Bay, so you can’t have that location either.