I have been doing my best to explore my new home and decided to expand my horizons and give Astoria a try. I was headed to the Museum of the Moving Image, which is a place any cinephile has to visit.
I’ve traveled all over the country and have been in at least twenty museums this year alone, I can say hands down this is one of the coolest places I have ever been. And in my opinion, pretty affordable at only 12 bucks—9 if you have a student ID. If you aren’t into movies, television, production, effects or anything in that realm this might not be the place for you. It’s a total film nerd’s palace.
The museum is designed to be seen from the top down, so you climb these very sterile looking wide white stairs up to the third floor. Installation pieces are all around to view, but I grazed by most of them—there is a lot to see here.
There is a whole exhibit on the history of the television where it walks you through each TV of the era and its accompanying technology. I actually got to see what the TV my mom grew up with looked like. It’s refreshingly nostalgic. If you bring parents or family members who are from a few generations older, I am sure they will regale with their memories of the three channels of yesteryear and black & white programming. From here you are rolled into the same type of exhibit but for cameras, the device that makes all this possible.
There are also really great interactive stations where you can play with sound, editing, voice overs and even try your hand at stop motion. You can play with an old-timey zoetrope and even a kinescope, which aids in the storytelling of how movies came to be.
On the second level it’s props, costumes, scripts, special effects make-up and memorabilia galore. If you dig Star Wars and Star Trek there is plenty to track down and be tickled by, like oh, the actual head of Chewbacca. For you gamers, see the history of video games display where you actually get tokens and play old arcade games. This whole room is amazing, I won’t tell you the about the large scale attraction but it’s pretty amazing.
I have an affinity for old Hollywood and anything from the silver age of celluloid. There is a whole wall of portraits of all your favorite starlets and leading gents from those eras. I suggest really taking time and looking closely at all of them. I’m still blown away by their sheer class and beauty.
Back on the first floor is where rotating exhibits are located. I was able to catch The Muppet Show one before it left. It was literally episodes from the 1970s on a continuous loop, which was totally awesome. I reconnected with a little piece of my childhood and the intense love that I had for Gonzo.
I think that’s why I enjoyed this place so much; it allows you to get in touch with and recall all these memories you’ve had. Film and television are such an integral part of our lives and influences all of us. Our relationship with film exists on a continuum where we constantly add to those memories; this museum can be a part of that.
For more information on upcoming exhibits and hours check out there site movingimage.us