The Renzo Piano-designed museum, which describes itself as “the largest in North America devoted to exploring films and film culture,” expected about2,400 visitors on its inaugural day — the attendance capped at 50% of capacity as a COVID-19 safety precaution.
Among the highlights of the core exhibition, “Stories of Cinema”: Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” Bruce the shark from “Jaws,” R2-D2 and C3PO from the “Star Wars” franchise, and H.R. Giger’s creature headpiece from “Alien.” Also on view: a special exhibition of Spike Lee’s inspirations and the first museum retrospective in North America devoted to animation legend Hayao Miyazaki.
Times photographer Al Seib was there to document the scene from opening day. And … action!
Deborah Vankin is an arts and culture writer for the Los Angeles Times. In what’s never a desk job, she has live-blogged her journey across Los Angeles with the L.A. County Museum of Art’s “big rock,” scaled downtown mural scaffolding with street artist Shepard Fairey, navigated the 101 freeway tracking the 1984 Olympic mural restorations and ridden Doug Aitken’s art train through the Barstow desert. Her award-winning interviews and profiles unearth the trends, issues and personalities in L.A.’s arts scene. Her work as a writer and editor has also appeared in Variety, LA Weekly and the New York Times, among other places. Originally from Philadelphia, she’s the author of the graphic novel “Poseurs.”
Al Seib was a photographer and videographer for the Los Angeles Times from 1984 to 2022. His photos have won numerous awards from national and international photographer associations. Seib’s work has helped win four Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news reporting awarded to The Times’ staff: the Los Angeles riots in 1993, the Northridge earthquake in 1995, the Southern California wildfires in 2004 and the San Bernardino shootings in 2016.