Los Angeles, CA

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

To renovate a historical structure into a museum, we innovated electrical solutions including seismic isolation, conduit bending, and custom wiring.

Aerial view of an empty theatre showing red seating

Value Delivered

KDC Inc., (formerly known as Dynalectric L.A.), managed key components of this 300,000 square-foot filmmaking museum conversion. Our services were instrumental in revitalizing the historical May Co. building into a state-of-the-art facility containing a gallery, theater, studio, dining, and retail spaces.

We also helped design and implement electrical solutions for the replacement of a 1946 addition with a new 42,300-square-foot base-isolated Sphere. This circular building houses a 1,000-seat theater with a 10,000 square-foot viewing deck and connecting bridges.

During demolition, we were able to provide temporary utility power needed for new structures. For the balance of the project, we helped overcome challenges by:

  • Designing for earthquake-resistance
  • Retaining historical features
  • Curving electrical conduit across a large glass dome
  • Preventing gas exposure from a water table in the methane zone
  • Working in shifts to mitigate heat exposure in confined, glass-enclosed space

We leveraged our Building Information Modeling expertise to provide solutions that help vital museum aspects such as electrical infrastructure to withstand earthquakes by allowing horizontal and vertical movement.

Our services contributed to the museum achieving LEED Gold certification.

Client Objectives

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wanted to revitalize the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and they needed earthquake-resistant design and electrical solutions.


KDC Inc. seismically isolated the Sphere building by supporting it with rectangular concrete blocks with eight rubber isolators allowing 24-inch sway. Our solutions also included:

  • Flexible electrical conduit that could pivot in the event of an earthquake
  • Accordion gasket to help dampen earthquake movement
  • Three new main services (5000-amp, 3000-amp, 1600-amp)
  • Relocation of existing services
  • Provision of temporary construction power
  • A 1250-kilowatt emergency generator with four automatic transfer switches
  • Architectural and theatrical lighting and controls designed to comply with California Energy Code Title 24
  • Low voltage systems (including fire alarm)
  • Wiring for dome-windows shade control system
  • Prefabricating and bending of electrical conduits to parallel curved structural steel cabling
  • Sealing off conduits to prevent methane from entering the building
  • Job site ventilation and monitoring for methane gas

 Client Background

The 300,000-square-foot Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is the largest museum in the U.S. devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking.