It was a night of glitz and glamor. Hollywood stars, young and old, gathered to sparkle in the night. The opening gala for the Museum of Motion Pictures had all the flair of Old Hollywood, with all the sass of New. And joining the living stars was a parade of items from motion picture history. With props from everything from Jaws to The Wizard of Oz, pieces of the past came to celebrate with their contemporary counterparts. 

Stars Sparkle All Night

Museum Motion Pictures

The green carpet was a breathtaking backdrop for the stars to stroll down, showing off their finest gowns and suits. Unlike the Met Gala which tends towards the extraordinary and outlandish, the opening gala for the Museum was a display of classic style and modern interpretations on classics. 

Here are some of the biggest stars of the night and their looks:

  • Lady Gaga: the pop superstar always knows how to make a fashion splash, but last night she looked like she walked off the page of a ’60s fashion mag. With an upswept bouffant and puffy-sleeved powder blue satin shawl over a sleek black gown, Gaga was characteristicaly charming.
  • Nicole Kidman: This look was more of a miss for us. It was a throwback to ’90s fashion with crimped loose tresses and a boldly floral patterned gown. But Kidman looks beautiful in anything she wears so even if the dress wasn’t 100% it, she still rocked it confidently.
  • Katy Perry also seemed to take inspiration from ’60s fashion – if this is a new thing we’re totally down with the trend – in a faux peplum black leather dress with a half-updo bouffant. Perry’s matching slick black pumps made the look both classic and chic. 
  • Olivia Rodrigo: The singer’s dress was both a hit and a miss if that’s possible. The strapless dress had a plunging neckline, showing off Rodrigo’s flawless physique. But the neckline shape was a little bizarre. It’s not a v-neck; is it a w-neck? But either way, she slayed with an understated updo and some soft red lipstick.
  • Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union: First, they looked adorable holding hands on the green carpet. Wade looked dashing in a classic tight-fitting black suit open over a white t-shirt, with a tight-fitting diamond necklace to top it off. And Union wore a black bodysuit draped with flowy sheer accents. The neckline was a thick layer of diamonds that brought all of the attention upwards towards her stunning smile.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis: The ’90s comedienne and actress could have walked straight out of the ’80s and no one would bat an eye. With a classic ’80s black dress and sky-high shoulders, Curtis’s signature white pixie cut was the perfect crowning piece.
  • Anna Kendrick: Kendrick looked beautiful as always but the dress was a bit dull if we’re being completely honest. A corset-style top with a see-through waist panel and a fluffy skirt. Very pretty, but nothing breathtaking. 
  • Cher: We can’t not talk about Cher. The pop queen has always been a fashion icon, but last night she pushed the envelope again. Cher turned heads in leopard-print flare pants with an asymmetrical black and white jacket. The crowning glory looked to be a felt boater hat with alternating squares of black and white. Love it or hate it, it was a look. 

Other stars who took to the green carpet include Halle Berry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hanks, Spike Lee, Warren Beatty, Regina Hall, Laverne Cox, Issa Rae, Angela Basset and more. 

Museum of Motion Pictures

Museum Motion Pictures

So what is the Museum of Motion Pictures, and why did it draw the biggest stars? It’s a unique and unbeatable collection of some of film’s most iconic props and pieces. Some of the most recognizable pieces on display include:

  • The larger-than-life Jaws shark head prop. 
  • Wizard of Oz original Ruby Slippers. 
  • Stories of Cinema: 3 different exhibitions with props from films throughout the ages including C3PO from Star Wars, the Okoye costume from Black Panther, short narrative film clips from film’s greatest movies, plus so much more.
  • Backdrop: and Invisible Art: This two-story exhibition features some of the most recognizable images you probably don’t even remember seeing. If that sounds funny, just think of how many settings and backgrounds you’d recognize from a famous movie without even realizing you knew it. Backdrops are one of the most vital components to setting the proper stage, and the exhibit will celebrate that contribution.
  • The Oscars Experience: If you’ve ever dreamed of winning an Oscar, step right up. This stage merges visuals and audio atmosphere to make visitors feel like they’re about to giving a victory speech, holding aloft that coveted award.
  • Path to Cinema: Highlights from the Richard Balzer Collection: The website describes this fascinating exhibit: “[It] will explore how the cinematic experience we know today evolved from a long tradition of optical amusements and devices of wonder: from shadow play, peepshows, magic lanterns, zoetropes and praxinoscopes to the Cinématographe Lumière, the world’s first successful film projector. Visitors to this exhibition will experience these marvelous inventions first-hand and take in the wonders of a magic lantern show especially created for this exhibition.” 
  • Hayao Miyazaki: The first of its kind in the US, this exhibit celebrates the storied career of Miyazaki and includes over 300 pieces, among which are cels from Studio Ghibli’s archives.
  • Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971: Coming in 2022, this groundbreaking exhibit examines one of the most under-represented parts of cinema history. Exploring some of the greatest Black moviemakers, actors, and industry professionals, this exhibit will start from the beginning and take visitors through the Civil Rights movement.

The night was as magical as it should be to celebrate the grand history of motion pictures. Admission prices ran $50K per ticket and proceeds going to raise money for the museum’s access, education, and programming initiatives. Also honored that night were Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima and Italian supernova Sophia Loren

Vanity Fair writes, “As if all there weren’t a glittering enough of a send-off for the the museum, Lady Gaga closed the night with an hour-long set of big band jazz standards, including classics by Cole Porter and Edith Piaf, and—last but not least—a rendition of ‘New York, New York’ dedicated to Lee, which inspired Cher to stand, Tiffany Haddish to twerk, and Regina King to scream, ‘We love you, Gaga!'”

Hollywood’s Parade of Galas and Events Return for 2021

Museum Motion Pictures

It’s a relief to once again see people gathering safely to celebrate the arts and entertainment. This year, several of the large events that 2020 saw canceled have gone forward without a hitch. Some of the most remarkable events to take place thus far this year include the Met Gala – rife with wild fashion – and the UNICEF Gala overseas.

It’s a wonderful display of the tenacity of the arts and everyone involved has been willing to get vaccinated and play along with the safety regulations to keep people safe. Aside from being a breath of fresh air, it’s a great example to people everywhere watching. We can gather again if we’re all working together to be safe: that’s the message. 

But this weekend, the bigger message was a celebration of the history of motion pictures and the people, places, and things that have made them magical.