The has announced a $50 million gift from Cheryl and Haim Saban in support of the organization's long-planned .
With its largest gift to date, the academy has raised $288 million toward its $388 million fundraising goal for the museum, which, after several delays, is now scheduled to open in 2019. The 300,000-square-foot campus will include a spherical addition featuring a theater and a terrace topped with a glass dome, while the two buildings together will provide 50,000 square feet of gallery space, two theaters, cutting-edge project spaces, and an education studio. In recognition of the gift, the historic May Co. Building housing the museum will be renamed the Saban Building.
The Saban Entertainment founder and his wife are co-founders of the and have donated to , the , Soroka Children's Hospital in Israel, the , the , and other causes. Haim Saban told the that he initially had resisted the idea of contributing to the film academy's museum when Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos invited him to a fundraiser. "I said to him, 'Listen, you've got sick kids, kids who need education — send them our way. Battered women, we're there. But a museum is not in our sweet spot, so we're not going to do anything there'. He said, 'Well, come anyway'. I said, 'Fine'. You know, a free meal — why not?"
"We are deeply grateful to Cheryl and Haim for understanding the need for a superb museum of film in the moviemaking capital of the world," said Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger, who also chairs the Museum Campaign Committee. "With their tremendous commitment, they set a magnificent example for others and bring our dream closer to reality."