Inside the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the Rolex Gallery

As the highly anticipated Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens in Los Angeles, we take a look at the place in cinema history of one of its main supporters, Rolex, as well as the brand’s long-term commitment to the cinema art.

The opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on September 30 marked a major milestone in the history of cinema. According to Hollywood journalist, the last industry giants such as Walt Disney, Louis B Mayer, Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson were keen for such a museum to be created. Now, finally, alongside other tributes to America’s contribution to the cinematic arts – including Universal Studios theme parks and a plethora of museums housing Hollywood costumes, props, posters, and memorabilia – comes a institution up to the task.

Dedicated to the history, science and cultural influence of cinema, the Academy Museum is the first and largest of its kind in the United States. The 300,000 square foot campus stands proudly on the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Its location is well placed to welcome visitors from around the world to explore exhibits, screenings, programs and collections that shed light on the past, present and future of cinema.

Rolex James Cameron Testimonial

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum was built over six years, on a budget greater than any blockbuster ever made. There are two buildings on site. The main one was a heritage monument that underwent a major restoration and expansion to become the Saban Building, which houses six floors of state-of-the-art exhibition and event spaces, an Art House-style theater, an education studio, a conservation studio and public spaces. Connected to it by a glass bridge is the new Sphere Building, which houses a 999-seat auditorium and particularly spectacular with its domed top, on which a terrace offers panoramic views stretching from Westwood to Hollywood sign.

As the institution’s founding patron, Rolex has a permanent room on the third floor of the museum. Called the Rolex Gallery, it is an experiential space showcasing film stories in which installations tell about the impact of technology, artists, history and societal issues on filmmaking. The Cosmograph Daytona, famous property of the late actor and racing enthusiast Paul Newman, is also on display.

Rolex and the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences did not formalize their relationship until 2017, when the Swiss brand became the exclusive watch and a proud sponsor of the Oscars. However, the watchmaker’s long-standing ties to the cinema go back much further.

The Greenroom 2021, hosted and designed by Rolex

Attached to the wrists of some of the greatest actors, Rolex watches have appeared in countless films in the past. At that time, actors wore the watches not for sponsorship reasons, but out of admiration for the brand, as well as the power and notion of success that watches brought to their roles.

For example, Marlon Brando wore a Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 without its bezel in Apocalypse now (1979). Although Newman is most closely associated with the Daytona, he put a stainless steel Datejust in The color of silver (1986). In the epic of James Cameron Titanic (1997), Bill Paxton wore his own yellow gold Submariner as he descended towards the famous wreck of a submersible.

Alec Baldwin had a Rolex Day-Date President on his wrist in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), while Matthew McConaughey accessorizes the Rolex Datejust in the The wolf of Wall Street in 2013. As for Ryan Gosling, he wore the Rolex Bubbleback and a Submariner in 2011 Crazy, stupid, love. Clint Eastwood and Dustin Hoffman are also known to wear their own Rolex watches in different movies.

Rolex Martin Scorsese testimonial

Rolex maintains that it has never put a watch in a movie as product placement, and never will, although the brand clearly welcomes a director’s choice to use the brand to use the brand for. represent the courage of a particular character.

Today, Rolex continues to actively support filmmakers, whether they are established authors or emerging talents. He still maintains close ties with two great figures in cinema, Scorsese and Cameron, and also heads the prestigious Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, which pairs young artists with masters in their discipline for creative collaborations. Scorsese has previously sponsored this program, as have directors Alfonso Cuarón and Spike Lee, demonstrating the commitment of Rolex and the masters of cinema to the pursuit of excellence and the development of the next generation of filmmakers.

This story first appeared in the December 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.

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