Movie museum open during construction

The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria is going to remain open to the public while they undergo a major expansion, according to administrators. Although the theater will be closed during the work, people can visit the galleries through an entrance at 37th Street, near 35th Avenue.
What’s more, admission to the galleries will be free on Fridays after 4 p.m.
Officials caution that during the work, visitors will have to walk up two flights of stairs to see the full exhibition, but they say that elevator service will be available for the physically disabled.
In addition to an extensive collection of rare artifacts of what is arguably the defining art form of the 20th century, the Museum Shop features an extensive selection of books (including screenplays and rare and out-of-print titles), toys, gifts, jewelry, postcards and souvenirs.
The existing museum building is a landmark of movie history which is in the National Register of Historic Places. Astoria was the hub of moviemaking in the silent film era, when Hollywood was desolate scrubland outside the then small-town of Los Angeles.
The three-story addition, designed by Leeser Architecture, features a new visitor entrance, in which a 242-video monitor installation is imbedded. In the lobby, a 50-foot seamless video projection leads to a caf/ area, which also features video projection.
In the new 264-seat theater, in addition to digital projection, 16, 35 and 70mm projection equipment enables showing of virtually all films and an orchestra pit is built in for live accompaniment for silent films.
A 71-seat screening room is also being built to provide an intimate space for special screenings, educational programs, lectures and seminars.
A dedicated student entry leads to a student orientation amphitheater, where museum educators will introduce school group programs. It will double as a screening room for families and kids on the weekends, according to the museum.
The plan also calls for the grand stairway to the second floor to double as a “video screening amphitheater” for the projection of changing exhibitions of video art.
Until Friday, August 29, the museum galleries will be open to the public Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, college students (with ID) and children. Admission is free to educators with valid identification.
Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older. Strollers must be left at the Coat Check; baby carriers are available.
Group tours can be arranged by appointment, and the museum is now accepting reservations for visits during the 2008-2009 school year through the Education Department at 718-777-6820 or by email at [email protected].
For general program information and directions, call 718-784-0077.

More from Around New York