The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures may be a newcomer to the museum space, but already, it’s mapped out an expansive online strategy. This week, the Los Angeles institution, with the backing of Bloomberg Philanthropies, unveiled a number of digital platforms spanning web and mobile with the aim of enhancing both onsite and offsite visitor experiences.

What happened

The Academy Museum mobile app includes features from exhibition guides and audio tours (left), augmented reality experiences (center), and an interactive map of Hollywood’s cinematic attractions. Image: Academy Museum app

First up, the Academy Museum app is a comprehensive one packed with features from exhibition guides to ticketing to an interactive map pinpointing key Hollywood attractions. Onsite visitors can use the application to navigate the museum, look up the day’s programs, and embark on multi-language audio tours narrated by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Coleman. The location-aware app also offers onsite augmented reality experiences of cinematic artifacts such as the Fantascope and Praxinoscope. Offsite, users can still access exhibition information and videos. 

On the web, the Academy Museum has launched its digital archive containing highlights from its permanent collection and an Academy Awards History Timeline. Using a scrolling system, the interactive platform allows users to browse the history of the awards ceremony, and explore more in-depth editorials and videos of the event’s many milestones.

Why it matters

Academy Museum digital

The Academy Museum has also boosted its online offer with a digital archive and an interactive timeline of the Academy Awards history. Image:

The Academy Museum’s decision to deeply vest itself in digital illustrates the broader shifts in the cultural sector, particularly in the wake of pandemic-related lockdowns. Besides addressing and reaching out to a digitally native audience, digital platforms have allowed cultural institutions including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Louvre, and the Städel Museum to boost their in-person programming and storytelling efforts. As a newly launched venue, the Academy Museum has every opportunity to build its digital strategy into its foundations.

What the museum says

“The Academy Museum’s digital platforms will be an expansion of the museum’s dynamic, diverse, and immersive visitor experience. As part of that, our new app will connect users with the art and artists of cinema and the creative, collaborative process of filmmaking via audio tours from film artists and scholars, curated augmented reality experiences, and more. It will both enhance the visit for museum-goers and reach a wide audience beyond the museum campus.” — Bill Kramer, Director and President, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures


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