LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) Entrance to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Wilshire Boulevard will be free to everyone under the age of 18, thanks to the George Lucas Family Foundation and their sizeable donation, museum officials announced Thursday.

The exact amount of the gift to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was not released, but it was described as a “transformative grant” in support of the museum’s “educational mission.” It will provide free admission “in perpetuity” for all visitors age 17 and under, according to the Academy.

LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 04: Atmosphere at The Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures Unveiling of the Fully Restored Saban Building on December 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

“At the Academy Museum, we are committed to helping educate our youngest visitors, the children and teens who will be the next generation of filmmakers, writers and visual artists,” museum director Kerry Brougher said in a statement.

“To succeed, though, we must break down the financial barriers that make it difficult for families, students, and teens to visit cultural institutions. We are deeply grateful to the George Lucas Family Foundation for understanding our mission so well and making it possible for us to waive admission for our youngest audiences so they can engage with exhibitions and programs that will nurture their creativity and encourage them to tell their own stories,” Brougher said.

The donation from the famed “Star Wars” director’s foundation was made in honor of Sid Ganis, the vice president of the Academy Board of Governors and chairman of its Museum Committee.

“Education has always been a primary goal of George’s storytelling,” Ganis said. “Now through his incredible generosity young people from everywhere can experience and learn about the art and the techniques of filmmaking.”

The museum is expected to open later this year in the former May Company building on Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. The Academy is still in the midst of a $388 million fundraising effort to support the building’s construction, along with exhibitions and programming.

The fundraising drive is headed by Disney CEO Bob Iger and actors Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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