Museum of the Moving Image: Renovated Astoria Institution Offers High-Tech Spaces for Rent

By Anna Sekula February 15, 2011, 2:55 PM EST

Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto/Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Following nearly three years of renovations, the Museum of the Moving Image finally reopened on January 15, showing off a complete revamp of its home in Queens. The $67 million building project—handled by Lesser Architecture—doubled the space of the institution and added new technology to allow video to be projected on surfaces throughout, filling the site with, well, moving images. The venue now measures 97,700 square feet and offers several spaces for rent, including a roomy theater, a screening room, an open-plan amphitheater, a flexible suite, and a small seminar room.

The Museum of the Moving Image is on track to receive silver LEED certification, and in June will open a 10,370-square-foot courtyard garden.

The largest section of the museum available for events and meetings is the main theater, a striking 267-seat space wrapped in 1,136 triangular blue felt panels. This area is designed for screenings, panel discussions, and presentations, with a stage, small orchestra pit, and equipment capable of handling the projection of various video formats, including high-definition digital 3D. Groups using the theater can take over the 44-seat Moving Image café area and lobby for receptions; a 50-foot projection wall in the lobby can be utilized to display custom content.

Occupying the west side of the building is the new Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Education Center, added to allow the museum to host more student groups. In here, the Museum of the Moving Image offers the Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room, which seats 68 and can display live feeds from the main theater, and the 54-seat William Fox Amphitheater. The digital learning suite accommodates 250 seated banquet-style or 263 for receptions, or can be divided into two classroom-style spaces, each seating 28. Smaller groups and breakout sessions can use a 25-seat seminar room.

Catering at the Museum of the Moving Image is provided by Restaurant Associates.

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