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Queens Chronicle

Additions And Subtractions Are Afoot At Moving Image Museum

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Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2005 12:00 am

Along with an expansion that will nearly double its size, the American Museum of the Moving Image is shortening its name to simply, Museum of the Moving Image and getting a new logo.

The museum has been tight-lipped about the expansion project, which has been rumored to cost from $10 to $25 million. On Friday officials revealed a few details about the project, but saved specifics for an opening reception that will be held on February 10th in Manhattan.

Architect Thomas Leeser of Brooklyn-based Leeser Architects will be at the announcement with the museum’s board and its director, Rochelle Slovin. Leeser Architects designed the Virgin Atlantic Terminal at Kennedy Airport and the Nam Jun Paik Museum in Seoul, Korea.

The expansion will include a new outdoor amphitheater for summer screenings and concerts, new digital media galleries and a new education center. An additional storage facility will be built to house the museum’s 150,000 artifacts. The work is reported to include correcting the museum’s heat and humidity levels, which are not ideal for the museum, with water leaks during bad weather.

There will be a new 74-seat screening room along with a complete renovation of the existing 200-seat Riklis Theater. In addition, planners hope that a new lobby, shop and cafe will enhance the museum’s street presence.

Along with all the additions, the museum is also dropping “American” from its name and unveiled a new logo designed by Manhattan-based design studio, 2x4. From now on, it will be known as the Museum of the Moving Image.

According to spokesperson Tomoko Kawamoto, museum officials have been toying with the idea of changing the name for about three years.

There were two main reasons for the change, Kawamoto explained. There was a museum of the moving image in London and that is why they initially used “American” in the name, but it has been closed for a while and it doesn’t appear that it will reopen, she said.

Also, they wanted a name that was shorter and easier to say. When asked about the commonly used acronym, AMMI, Kawamoto said if people feel the need to shorten the name, the museum would like them to call it the Moving Image. But buildings can sometimes be easier to renovate than people’s habits.

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