MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- It began life as "The Museum of Broadcasting" in 1975, conceived by the legendary founder of CBS, Bill Paley, as a monument to the medium he helped shape.
Today, what he started is known as "The Paley Center for Media," a title that reflects the way the industry has evolved along with the place that celebrates it.
A new immersive video game exhibit called Paley GX is meant to draw in teens and younger kids, and it takes the museum experience to a whole new level as past, present and future come together.
"It's a very professional building from the looks of it on the outside," high school student Audrey Gibbs sid. "Once you step inside, it's a completely different environment."
She is in New York City on a class trip from Oklahoma City and found the new exhibit to be "more interactive than I ever would've thought."
Her classmate, Paige Chandler, agreed.
"I wasn't expecting this at all," she said.
Her friend McKenna Cash spoke for the group when she said, "It's been a lot of fun."
Fun and games - all free - are part of the experience, according to Paley Center President and CEO Maureen Reidy.
"The Paley Center has always been at the forefront of all things media," she said. "And gaming has certainly taken its place in our culture, so it's a natural fit that we would host an immersive gaming experience."
"Cool" is a word heard often in these halls, which isn't bad for a cultural institution founded more than four decades ago.
"At the core of the Paley Center is the Paley Archive, which many refer to as a national treasure," Reidy said. "It's just shy of 200,000 programs, which spans 100 years."
Among all those shows, I found a radio program from 1978 -- my interview with news legend Barbara Walters. I was just out of college, and a full 40 years would pass before I had the privilege of leading one of the Paley's famous panels -- a look back at "Wheel of Fortune" with stars Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
The gatherings serve as an opportunity for the public to get up close and personal with their favorite TV stars and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes. It is here that industry leaders like Wendy McMahon, president of the ABC Owned Stations, come to chart the future of television in an era of rapid change.
"Our journalists thrive off of that," she told the crowd.
And as they do, The Paley Center thrives too.
During the holiday season, the welcome mat is out for everyone to come to Paleyland. It includes holiday treats for everyone, and Santa on hand for the kids. It begins on December 8, no appointment necessary.
CLICK HERE for more information on Paleyland. CLICK HERE for general information on The Paley Center for Media.
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New Paley Center exhibit offers immersive video game experience
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