Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 16:34
In just three weeks from today, the Museum of Broadcast Communications will be celebrating its 25th anniversary of existence with a gala party at its new location, which will also serve as its "unofficial" Grand Opening. The "official" Grand Opening ceremony will take place the following morning.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) was actually founded 30 years ago in 1982 by Bruce DuMont. However, it was five years later, in June, 1987, when the MBC made its debut as a physical location, opening up in a building in River City in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood. In 1992, the MBC moved to the Chicago Cultural Center, where it stayed until the end of 2003. DuMont claimed it would be less than a two-year hiatus, while the MBC waited for its new building to be built and ready to open in the first half of 2005. That didn't happen.
Construction on the new museum, which was replacing an aging, run-down parking garage located at the corner of Kinzie and State Streets, was delayed and stalled repeatedly. To put it in perspective just how long construction has taken on the new MBC location... the Trump International Hotel and Tower was started well afterward, in March 2005. That building -- the 11th tallest building on the planet -- was fully completed in August 2008. The four-story MBC building, whose project started over a year before Trump's, is having its grand opening in mid-June 2012. This has been a long time coming, to say the least.
On the evening of June 12th, the Museum of Broadcast Communications will finally be able to fully open its doors to let the public see the entire new 62,000-square-foot location. The new downtown Chicago museum at 360 N. State is one of just three broadcast museums in the United States and will offer five times as much space as the previous location in the Chicago Cultural Center.
The new facility is a "green" building, in that it has been painstakingly designed to be extremely energy efficient, with minimal waste and minimal consumption of resources.
The museum will seek to inform and entertain its visitors about the rich history of the television and radio industries through its archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online resources, with over over 15,000 square feet devoted to the exhibition of television and radio's legacy. It will also feature state-of-the-art television and radio studios for hands-on experiences, a media-equipped education center for group orientation and teaching. In addition, this is the new home for the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Very small portions of the new museum were open to the public in December, but the vast majority of the exhibits, including almost all of its television history, were not allowed to be seen. The entire museum is now closed off to the public. That will soon change, though. With the opening just three weeks away, the entire second floor, which focuses on the history of radio, and the previously closed-off third floor, which focuses entirely on television, will be opened up.
June is the 25th anniversary of the MBC's first location, and June 12th has been selected to be the gala party & celebration for the museum. The event begins that evening at 6:00pm. Special guests at the 25th Anniversary celebration include Betty White, Hugh Downs, and John Mahoney. Other special guests and surprises are in the works as well. Tickets to attend the gala are available online for $500 each and can be purchased HERE
Additionally, raffle tickets are being sold in advance and will be sold at the event ($50 for 1
, $100 for 4
, or $200 for 10
) featuring a grand prize for four people to fly off to to enjoy a Hollywood VIP vacation. Money from ticket and raffle sales goes to benefit the MBC.
The following morning, June 13th at 10:00am, Betty White will join Bruce DuMont for the official ribbon cutting at the front doors of the MBC, allowing the general public in to see the entire museum. The doors which have been shut as of late, will remain open during business hours from this point on.
More information about the June 12th celebration, as well as the Museum of Broadcast Communications itself, can be found on the MBC website, Museum.TV