Magic of movies to be on display at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

LOS ANGELES, California (WABC) -- It's been more than three years in the making, and The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures isn't finished yet.

The first-of-its kind museum in Los Angeles is designed to appeal to film fans and casual moviegoers -- and everyone in between.

Whoopi Goldberg is lending her support to the Motion Picture Academy's big project.

"This unparalleled museum experience is destined to become the newest cultural landmark in Los Angeles, and perhaps, the world," the former Oscar host and past winner said in a video.

Tom Hanks is also an advocate.

"It will be filled with the magic and dreams that come along with the cinema itself," he said.

A historic building that once housed a department store is connected to a sphere with a movie theater inside. On top is a terrace with a striking view of the Hollywood sign.

Six months after we first took a look, much progress has been made.

"This whole museum has risen up step by step," Museum Director Kerry Brougher said. "One of the things that we hope will happen when you come here is that it's almost like entering a movie itself. So when you go through the exhibitions, it will seem like you're in a dream."

An exhibit devoted to "The Wizard of Oz" will greet visitors in the lobby, along with a pair of Judy Garland's ruby red slippers.

Elsewhere in the museum, visitors will see scripts, props and other artifacts -- like the doors from "Casablanca."

Less famous films and filmmakers -- like Oscar Micheaux -- will also get their due.

"There are so many people that got overlooked," Brougher said. "There's so much diversity in the medium. There's so much we can do with stories that have never really been told."

The Academy is best known for giving out Oscars each year, although the museum has a broader scope.

"But, of course, there will be an area inside the museum dedicated to the Academy Awards and the Oscar," Brougher said.

Visitors will actually get to hold a real Oscar, and I expect most will have the same reaction I did when I first held the statue awarded to Louis Gossett Jr. for "An Officer and a Gentleman" -- Oscar is heavy.

Hollywood's ultimate trophy weighs eight and a half pounds.

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