BFT

California

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is holding its first exhibit in the space that will become Hollywood’s premier museum devoted to the movies.

Hollywood Costume opens this week inside the historic May Co building on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, which is set to reopen as the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in 2017. “This exhibition is... a launching point for the new museum,” said museum director Kerry Brougher. “It’s really marking our territory here as the place where fabulous exhibitions will happen about the history of the motion picture.”

The high-tech exhibit includes more than 150 costumes and dozens of digital monitors. Some show the stars as they looked when they wore the outfits; others play film clips of directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese discussing their collaborations with costume designers.

Visitors can see Charlie Chaplin’s costume and cane from 1915’s The Tramp, Marlene Dietrich’s beaded, fur-trimmed gown from 1937’s Angel and Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins dress and umbrella from the 1964 film, plus Nicole Kidman’s dress from 2001’s Moulin Rouge!

A collection of regal, gilded gowns fit for a queen - Queen Elizabeth, to be exact - stand together, including one worn by Bette Davis in 1955’s The Virgin Queen and another donned by Dame Judi Dench in 1998’s Shakespeare In Love. There is a section of superhero costumes, featuring Christopher Reeve as Superman flying overhead. Another area is dedicated to characters played by Meryl Streep, with video of the actress talking about how costumes affect her performances.