America's Gleaming Showplace for the Art of Film and Video

Article excerpt

FORTUNATELY, says Rochelle Slovin, director of the American Museum of the Moving Image, the film business itself has started to recognize the importance of remembering and preserving its past.

The industry has been "very generous," she says, in supporting this gleaming showplace in Queens, which opened its doors last September.

Though London's Museum of the Moving Image was launched at the same time, it has no connection with the American museum. Housed in the Kaufman Astoria Studios complex here in Queens, this museum offers screenings and special programs, in addition to housing some 60,000 artifacts related to the history of cinema and television.

Its highlights range from exhibitions of video clips and fan magazines to such room-size attractions as a set from "The Glass Menagerie," donated by Paul Newman, and the flamboyant "Tut's Fever," a 40-seat theater designed by artists Red Grooms and Lysiane Luong to recall the neo-Egyptian movie palaces of the 1920s.

What's the philosophy behind the museum's shows and exhibitions? "Motion pictures, television, and video are completely absorbed into 20th-century life," Ms. …