The Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is located in Queens, New York–more specifically Astoria. When you walk into this museum, it has a modern feel. It’s almost all white, and on the wall a projector is playing with moving images of peoples’ faces. (It was a little odd for me to be welcomed by peoples’ faces.) As you venture into the museum, you will see a cascade of steps that lead up the second floor, where the exhibit begins.

The current exhibit that is featured is about Jim Henson, who was the creator of the Muppets. They have all sorts of displays there and different things to do. When you finally got up the staircase, you will see a giant screen with claymation and rocks doing all different kinds of funny, entertaining things. When I went with my family, I thought that it was going to be childish, but actually it was an amazing experience.

They had actual Muppet characters on display; for instance, they had one of the many Ms. Piggies, Dr. Bunson Honeydrew, Beaker, Rowlf, and other characters as well. On the walls were sketches of how the character would look and also television screens that showed the earlier versions of The Muppets. Jim Hensons’s Muppets first appeared in commercials, and that is how he earned money to start Sesame Street and continued on to make The Muppets movie and other shows that featured the Muppets. His characters portrayed people he knew personally; so each of the characters he created had a different personality trait and also the production of the fabrication of the Muppets had to portray their personality.

As that exhibit ended, another one began. In this new exhibit there were more “hands on” things to do. There were vintage cameras that you could look at. Also when you first walked in, it showed how the first stop motion movies were shown, including The Man in the Moon and others. (If you saw the movie Hugo, The Man in the Moon had an important role.) Another activity was on a computer that allowed people to make their own stop motion movie with the props provided. If you like the movie you make, you can send it to your e-mail to show other people.

Another fun thing to do was voiceovers in a sound booth. There were two screens: one computer screen and one television screen. On the computer screen, there were around six choices for movies. Once a visitor has chosen the movie, it will show them a clip from the movie with dialog. After listening to the clip, the computer will cut out one of the actors or actresses lines and allow the visitor to say them in its place. They get one time to rehearse it and another time to record it. In the end, on the television screen, it shows the same clip, but with the voiceover instead of the actor’s/actress’s. My family and I had a really fun time doing these as we modified the dialog.

Also, if you are interested, there are reruns shown of The Muppet Show, which my parents remembered. We saw shows with guest stars Linda Carter and Christopher Reeve in the movie theater located within the museum. The shows run all day and are only about thirty minutes long. They are enjoyable and funny.

In the end, this is a great museum to go to, and it is close to good restaurants so if you are ravenous for lunch, you can go to one of the restaurants. There are plenty of restaurants around and many ethnic foods. My family and I went to Arepas, a Venezuelan restaurant. Thanks for reading this article on The Museum of the Moving Image. I hope that you’ll get to go there and enjoy it as much as I did.

The Museum of the Moving Image

3601 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106

(718) 784-0077

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