Movie Palace

  • David Beck, Movie Palace, 1990, mixed media construction, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Ken and Judy Siebel and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2000.27

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Movie Palace is an elaborate kinetic sculpture that combines Hollywood escapism with the innocent pleasures of windup toys. Beck remembers moviegoing as a social experience that is disappearing from American culture today. Crafting this lost world in miniature creates the kind of magic that films once had, when they transported audiences to distant lands and improbable adventures. The building combines the Renaissance, Moorish, and Egyptian styles that movie houses shamelessly borrowed in the good old days. Reliefs on the outside of the dome represent film noir, Westerns, musicals and other genres from Hollywood's golden age. Inside, animated figures talk and eat popcorn while King Kong swats at biplanes from the mast of the Empire State Building. The fantasy world of film may no longer be what it was, but Beck's Movie Palace reminds us of the pleasures of pretending.

Title
Movie Palace
Artist
Date
1990
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
84 x 40 x 22 in. (213.4 x 101.6 x 55.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Ken and Judy Siebel and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mediums Description
mixed media construction
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior – civic – theater
Object Number
2000.27
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI
Audio

Movie Palace
1990, mixed media construction

DAVID BECK
Born: Muncie, Indiana 1953

Videos
Date
  • Movie Palace is an elaborate kinetic sculpture that combines Hollywood escapism with the innocent pleasures of windup toys. Beck remembers movie going as a social experience that is disappearing from American culture today. Crafting this lost world in miniature creates the kind of magic that films once had, when they transported audiences to distant lands and improbable adventures. The fantasy world of film may no longer be what it was, but Beck's Movie Palace reminds us of the pleasures of pretending.

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