Donations save LACMA film program

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The long-running film program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art won’t fade to black after all.
KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez says that $150,000 in donations from Time Warner Cable and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will allow LACMA to maintain the film program for at least another year.

The donations follow a month after the museum announced that shrinking audiences and budget cuts would force it to shut down the weekend film program that for 40 years had provided a consistent Southland screening venue for obscure, critically-acclaimed domestic and international films.

Film director Martin Scorsese had argued in a letter to the Los Angeles Times that the capital of filmmaking should not lose such a valuable public screening program. He called LACMA film retrospectives invaluable to him during the years he lived in Los Angeles. An online petition to save the program topped 2,500 signatures and included many similar anecdotes.

Critics said LACMA had done a poor job of promoting the program. LACMA says the donations include a pledge by Ovation TV and Time Warner to publicize the film program on television and on the Internet. LACMA’s also promised to create a film department at the museum and to secure long-term funding so it might improve the way it presents films.