The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the billion-dollar brainchild of “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and Ariel Investments co-CEO and president Mellody Hobson, has acquired a vast collection known as the Separate Cinema Archive, comprising more than 37,000 film posters, scripts and exhibition and promotion relics dating back more than a century.
The LA museum, scheduled to open in 2022, will come to fruition after a lengthy, contentious and ultimately thwarted attempt on behalf of Lucas and Hobson to build a museum in San Francisco, followed by a similar impasse in Chicago.
Last year Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed Chicago native Hobson vice chair of World Business Chicago, a public-private agency advocating for local job growth and corporate relocations.
Lucas attended film school at the University of Southern California, a geographical neighbor of Exposition Park, where the museum is under construction. It’s one of several museums and buildings, including the LA Memorial Coliseum, neighboring the USC campus.
The Lucas Museum’s newly acquired African American film archive showcases artifacts featuring early black cinema pioneers, such as filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, and later stars ranging from Dorothy Dandridge to Sidney Poitier, along with musical giants such as Duke Ellington.
On Feb. 8, during Black History Month, the Lucas Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will present two South LA screenings: a matinee of “The Wiz,” and a screening of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” The Lee film will be followed by a conversation with Jacqueline Stewart, the University of Chicago professor and recently appointed host of Turner Classic Movies’ “Silent Sunday Nights” series. Lucas Museum film curator Ryan Linkof will moderate.
The screenings will take place at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza’s Cinemark Theater. For more information on the museum’s progress and plans, go to lucasmuseum.org.