THB Headlines: Counting The Academy Museum Loot
The Academy’s new CEO, Bill Kramer, was the top banana at The Academy Museum before he took the new CEO gig. The Academy Museum is celebrating being open for about a year now.
The New York Times and its remarkably unknowledgeable and uninterested lead reporter on the industry did a story today laying out what The Academy has already been saying about The Museum’s popularity in recent weeks.
I am going to stop offering any opinion now and just count the revenues as identified in this piece and let you make whatever inferences you choose.
Museum Tickets - 700,000 visitors at $20 a ticket = $14 million
Memberships - 24,000 at $300 apiece - $4.8 million
Corporate Memberships - 100 @ $10,000 - $1 million
Gift Shop - $6 million
Philanthropic Contributions - $11 million
Geffen Theater Rental - 100 @ $30,000 apiece - $3 million
Event Space Rental -
50 at $50,000 apiece - $2.5 million
50 @ $25,000 apiece - $1.25 million
Fanny’s Restaurant - 150,000 people @ $20 apiece - $3 million
I estimated $20 a ticket, with Adult tickets @ $25, Senior @ $19, Kids @ $15
I estimated the Geffen Theater rental… some say higher, some say lower
NYT says the outdoor dome is $50K. I estimate the other spaces at $25k. And I split the “100 events” between them.
Fanny’s prices are offered as “Dishes range from $16 to $90.”
That adds up to $46.55 million in revenues since last September, 2021.
LACMA, pre-pandemic, in 2019, reported $9 million in revenues from admission fees and $3.5 million in membership dues. Total revenue of $60 million, with $25 million coming from contributions and grants. (This is pretty close to what was reported in both ticket & program revenues for 2018 as well, with the total and contributions grants being about $10m being lower.)
Here is chart of American museum attendance in 2021, as laid out by The Art Newspaper.
I’m not here to spread rumors or theories. I’m just here to focus on the facts and what is being claimed.
Things like “700,000 visitors” might be truthful. The 1000 seat Geffen Theater at The Academy Museum x 50 paid events is 50,000 visitors right there. None are paying to see the museum, which is in a different building. Are they “visitors?” Are 500 of the same 1000 invited to a post-event event in a different space in the museum? Are they counted on top of the theater count? Or is neither counted? It’s a curiosity. (Not to the New York Times.)
These are the kind of distinctions that Academy members seeking transparency from the new and already better-liked leadership might want to be clearer.
Finally… there was a correction by the NYT from the piece…
An earlier version of this article contained outdated information about the opening of the Academy Museum’s “Hollywoodland” exhibition. It is expected to open in fall 2023; it is no longer planned for late spring.
I guess those founding creators of the industry in Hollywood have been dead so long that their history is hard to organize for an exhibit within the first 18 months of The Academy Museum. Fitting tribute for a piece running on Rosh Hashana.
Did LACMA (when the Bing was still there) and other museums include screening attendance in their stats? Is that a standard practice for museums?