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Feedback: What Debbie Reynolds knew before the Academy Museum

The Academy Museum's ball-shaped Geffen Theater is seen at dusk, fringed by palms
A new shape joins L.A.'s urban landscape with the upcoming opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
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Cleaning the pleasure dome

Window washers Mario Guzman, left, and Jesus Garcia clean windows of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Aug. 27, 2021
Window washers Mario Guzman, left, and Jesus Garcia clean windows on the dome of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Aug. 27, 2021.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Regarding Carolina A. Miranda’s architecture review: “A New Icon for L.A.” [Sept. 21]: Oh, the madness of the pleasure dome made of 1,500 panels of glass. It may be “a miracle of rare device,” but it makes me cry out in poetic words “Beware! Beware!” of that work of art that brings to play falcons, pigeons, grime, dirt, winds, soot and the perilous challenges that workers must take on once in two months. Architect Renzo Piano may have been filled with Kublai Khan’s vision of a glass dome. But that vision belongs in the realm of rapturous poetry, not for us film lovers to gape in awestruck amazement at the foolishness. Little wonder there was so much bickering, changes of leadership and financial woes.

Prem Kishore
Reseda

Editor’s Note: Times arts writer Deborah Vankin reported on the crew and procedures used to clean the dome inThis Glass Isn’t Gonna Clean Itself, Sept. 12.

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Regarding “Treasure Room of Fantasies” [Sept. 12], with Jen Yamato’s mention of the Academy Museum’s Debbie Reynolds Conservation Studio: Seeing the new Academy Museum about ready to open, I can’t help remembering in the 1970s when MGM was slowly auctioned off prop by prop, costume by costume, and the dismantling of that iconic studio. The most vocal and determined person dedicated to preservation of her home studio was the late and very great Debbie Reynolds. She spent thousands of dollars of her own money, her valuable time and endless efforts to some day create a real Hollywood museum for this Company Town.

Debbie Reynolds, June 2, 2011,  atop the throne used in the 1955 movie "The Virgin Queen" before her memorabilia auction
Debbie Reynolds on June 2, 2011, sitting atop the throne used in the 1955 movie “The Virgin Queen.” The prop and dresses worn in the film by Bette Davis and Joan Collins were some of the pieces the star auctioned off from her massive collection of costumes and memorabilia from classic Hollywood movies.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

She was able to have one for a short time in Las Vegas in her own hotel; sadly, it didn’t last. She was a tireless advocate for preserving and teaching us all about the movies we all love, enjoy and remember, and she is to be saluted and remembered for all of her generous contributions toward that dream she never gave up on. In addition to her many talents and gifts she left us to enjoy in those beautiful movie gems, she finally got her wish, to share it all with the fans, in this state-of-the-art new Academy Museum.

Her heart was always in the right place in her sheer determination to get it done, and now it is a reality. Thanks, Debbie Reynolds, for always caring, having the foresight to hold on to these treasures that tell the history and stories of the movies and our city; you can finally rest easy now. Your star will always shine brightly down upon this grateful town!

Frances Terrell Lippman
Sherman Oaks

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Renzo Piano’s “Death Star” Geffen Theater is less innovative than is implied. The redone Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City opened in 2000 and has a spherical theater space (the planetarium) contained inside a glass cube. The glass/spherical/theater combination of Piano for the Geffen collapses the concept of the Hayden Planetarium into a single structure.

The concept itself was done in New York two decades before Los Angeles, and, of course, both are museum buildings.

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There is little that is completely new under the sun, even in sunny California.

Henry Hespenheide
Hermosa Beach

Editor’s note: The Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space is a sphere inside a glass cube.

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Questioning Emmy coverage

Regarding “Too Predictable, Too White” about the Emmy Awards [Sept. 20]: I totally support programs with people of color. However, television critic Lorraine Ali’s commentary was just another example of The Times going overboard.

Every Calendar article seems to be about Black people. “Overcompensation” is an understatement. The shows that won were good and deserved to win.

There is a reason why a lot of people are stopping their subscriptions to your newspaper.

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Vincent Cutarelli
Laguna Niguel

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I take exception to Lorraine Ali’s front-page article about Sunday’s Emmy Awards. She laments the fact that no performer of color won an Emmy this year, despite many nominations.

She neglects to even mention that the legendary Debbie Allen was given probably the Television Academy’s most important award of all — the Governors Award — nor does she acknowledge the great contribution of host Cedric the Entertainer.

Debbie Allen, recipient of the Governors Award at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards,in the press room at L.A. Live
Debbie Allen, recipient of the Governors Award at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, poses in the press room at L.A. Live on September 19, 2021.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The fact is that there were many deserving nominees this past television season. To choose a winner in any category based on the color of their skin is in fact racist on its face.

Mark Richman
Sherman Oaks

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Why is it The Times never fails to declare the age of an actress? Large or small, caption or byline, the age of the female professional is always highlighted. That’s never the case for the male counterparts.

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Upon winning an Emmy Sunday night for leading actress in a comedy, I’m sure Jean Smart was thrilled.

The caption on the front page of The Times: “At 70, Smart is the oldest woman to win the award for comedy actress.“

You had so many choices of things to say about this woman and her stellar career.

There was no mention of Jason Sudeikis’ age in the caption.

Kate Leachman
Manhattan Beach

Editor’s Note: We often mention male actors’ ages in our stories. Last week’s Sunday Calendar featured Clint Eastwood on the cover with mentions in the story and the headline that he is 91.

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“Woke” politics and diversity should never become a consideration in evaluating and awarding artistic achievement.

“The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Crown” and “Ted Lasso,” by any measure of cinema excellence, deserved their awards.

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Affirmative action has no place in who gets an Emmy. At least let’s hope so.

Alan Segal
San Diego

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From quarantine to close quarters

In his review of the Emmys telecast [“Crowd-Pleasing?,” Sept. 20], television critic Robert Lloyd wrote: “The decision to party like it was 2019 was perhaps not out of key with the national mood and in some perverse way not inappropriate.”

Not inappropriate? When every article that’s written about COVID begs readers to get vaccinated?

Bravo to Seth Rogen, who said, “Let me start by saying: There’s way too many of us in this little room. They said this was outdoors — it’s not. We’re in a hermetically sealed tent right now. Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than that we make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight?”

We just had a recall vote that cost California millions of dollars because Gov. Newsom attended a small party, yet Hollywood is above it all and does as it pleases. I turned off my television.

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Pat Holmes
San Pedro

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TV with a smile

Regarding [the Sept. 19 Sunday TV highlights with the line] “Olivia Jade will give it the old college try” on “Dancing With the Stars”: When it seems everything is serious these days, I’m always happy to get a chuckle from TV This Week.

Thanks, Matt Cooper, for keeping me informed and entertained each Sunday morning.

Sherry Stern
Lake Forest

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