Clint Eastwood makes the Smithsonian's day
Clint Eastwood made the Smithsonian Institution's day by paying a visit to the National Museum of American History in Washington to help inaugurate a new screening room dedicated to presenting the history of Hollywood.
The screening room bears the name of Warner Bros., which donated $5 million to the Smithsonian for the creation of the facility. Eastwood has had a long professional association with Warner Bros., having directed most of his movies for the studio.
On Wednesday, Eastwood joined Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who is a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the museum.
The intimate screening room, with a seating capacity of 264, is actually a renovation of an existing auditorium at the museum, outfitted with new technology such as digital 3-D projection.
A Smithsonian official told the Associated Press that it is in early talks with the American Film Institute to develop a daily film screening. The current program features screenings of "The Big Sleep," "Casablanca," "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" -- all starring Humphrey Bogart and all made at Warner Bros.
Eastwood -- and Warner Bros. brass -- recently lent their support to a cause closer to home when they appeared at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in November. The event was a gala celebration that raised an estimated $3 million for the museum.
-- David Ng
Photo: Clint Eastwood appears at the opening of the Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington. Credit: Cliff Own / Associated Press