Hollywood 2021: Academy Museum Grand Lobby Dedicated to Sidney Poitier

Academy Museum: Grand Lobby Dedicated to Sidney Poitier

The museum will open to the public on September 30.

The 10,000-square-foot lobby of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which will open to the public on September 30, is being named after film legend and Oscar winner Sidney Poitier, the museum announced on Monday.

The Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby was possible through campaign supported by Ambassador Nicole Avant and Netflix co-CEO and Academy Museum Board of Trustees chair Ted Sarandos, the Perenchio Foundation, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, with gifts from Patrick Soon-Shiong and Michele Soon-Shiong, among additional donors.

“It is an incredible honor to name our grand lobby — the nucleus of the Academy Museum — in celebration of Sir Sidney Poitier, whose legacy of humanitarian efforts and groundbreaking artistry continues to inspire us all,” said Academy Museum director Bill Kramer. “We are deeply thankful to everyone who supported this campaign, and to Sidney, his wife Joanna Shimkus Poitier, and their entire family for allowing us this great privilege.”

Joanna Shimkus Poitier said, “Sidney’s tremendous impact on the motion picture industry, and on audiences around the world, is inseparable from the story of his longstanding, collegial relationship with the Academy. Sidney has always taken great pride in the Academy’s recognition of his work. To be honored now as the namesake of the Academy Museum’s lobby, the place of access to everything that lies within, is almost like receiving a second Oscar, for lifetime achievement.”

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the Poitier Lobby — which has 24-foot ceilings — occupies the entire first floor of the restored and revitalized landmark Saban Building — formerly known as the May Company building — from Wilshire Boulevard at the South to the dramatic Walt Disney Company Piazza at the North.

Academy CEO Dawn Hudson recently announced that, due to COVID, the Museum will open at 50 percent capacity.