Malcolm X, Wizard of Oz: Movies Launching Academy Museum’s Inaugural Film Series

The movie programming, launching September 30 in the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater, also includes screenings of the complete works of Hayao Miyazaki.

The series is part of the inaugural season of film screenings, which will unfold at the museum’s two theaters, the 1,000-seat David Geffen — which can show nitrate, 35mm, 70mm and Dolby Vision laser projection and accommodate 50-piece orchestra — and the more intimate, 288-seat Ted Mann.

“We were looking at ways to engage the content in our galleries as launching-off points,” says senior director of film programs Bernardo Rondeau, of the thinking behind the films scheduled to screen. “But also looking more broadly at the Academy’s holdings.”


ACADEMY MUSEUM -Barbra Streisand Bridge
The exterior of the new Academy Museum, located at the northeast corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.


The season will officially kick off September 30 with a classic, The Wizard of Oz, accompanied by the American Youth Symphony orchestra, a screening that is tied to an in-house exhibit on the 1939 film.

But even before the museum opens, there is a rare 70mm screening of Malcolm X featuring director Spike Lee and star Denzel Washington on September 26.

Other series will include women composers (Oct. 6-Dec. 14), Asian American star Anna May Wong (Nov. 13-27) and Indian director Satyajit Ray (Nov. 22-Dec. 22).

There also will be family-friendly Saturday matinees and Oscar-nominated horror films in October.

With moviegoing hit hard by the pandemic, the museum is counting on audiences to return. “We have a very passionate, eclectic, adventurous audience,” Rondeau says of L.A. moviegoers. “We have a strong relationship with our cinemas and an expectation of great picture, great sound. We’ll have that covered, but we hope people will also find something that connects with them.”

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Movies to be shown as part of the film programming slate include Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro and Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz. WARNER BROS/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION; 50TH STREET FILMS/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION; COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION