The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, is the only museum of its kind in the country. Visitors young and old can get a behind-the-screen view of films, TV shows, and video games, from classics to modern-day favorites.
Opened in 1988, the Museum of the Moving Image is still the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to the art, history, and technology of the moving image. Located in one of the 13 buildings that used to comprise the historic Astoria Studios complex, it was the site of many silent films and early sound productions. Renovated in 2011, the museum’s screening room and theater can now hold a total of 335 visitors, and the education center serves 50,000 students a year.
The museum hosts a monthly, family-friendly matinee screening in the Summer M. Redstone Theater, which can seat up to 267 people.
The museum’s main exhibit, Behind the Screen, lets visitors explore how movies, television programs, and video games are created, marketed, and shown. Museumgoers can create short animations, star in a Video Flipbook, record their voices into a famous film scene, and play classic arcade and console games.
You can also screen classic movie serials (weekdays at 2pm; weekends at 1pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm) in Tut’s Fever, a working movie theater and art installation created as a tribute to the exotic and ornate picture palaces of the 1920s (keep an eye out for Egyptian-style depictions of Hollywood royalty.)
As you stroll the museum’s galleries, you’ll get a peek at movie-making’s early days and develop an appreciation for how far the industry has advanced in the last century.
Every Saturday afternoon, the Drop-In Moving Image Studio (free with admission) gives visitors ages 7 and older the chance to see, handle, and explore the inner workings of moving-image technology, such as projectors, filmstrips and videotape, and video game consoles. The museum also regularly hosts structured workshops for kids that relate to the current exhibits.
Of course, the museum hosts daily screenings, including everything from classic cinema to preview screenings of new movies.
In 2015, the museum will debut a permanent gallery devoted to puppets and other materials owned and used by Jim Henson, the creator of The Muppets.
Kids can record their own flipbook video in the main exhibition and then have the option to purchase it as a print flipbook in the museum store.
For upcoming family and kids’ events at the Museum of the Moving Image, search our full calendar of events, where you’ll find a variety of low-cost and fun activities in the NYC area.
The museum’s second-floor gallery includes 11 playable classic video arcade games and home console games.
Address: Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria, Queens
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 10:30am-5pm; Friday 10:30am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday 11:30am-7pm
Admission: $12; $9 seniors ages 65 and older and students with ID; $6 children ages 3-12; free for all on Fridays from 4-8pm. Note: Children younger than 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
Young visitors can create their own stop-motion animation projects, which can then be emailed home.
Tips: Strollers are not permitted in the galleries but may be checked for free at the admissions desk. There is a café located in the lobby that serves a selection of sandwiches, snacks, and beverages.
For more information:718-777-6888 or movingimage.us