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Academy Museum Ferris wheel lighting at the Santa Monica Pier

Published on September 30, 2021

The Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel will be lit gold on Thursday, September 30 to celebrate the grand opening of The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The Pacific Wheel will join other LA area landmarks in being lit gold to celebrate the grand opening of LA’s newest cultural center, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Located in Museum Row in mid-city Los Angeles, the theatre and exhibit space will celebrate the art and culture of movie-making, host screenings and premieres, and house rotating exhibits that illuminate the complex and exciting world of cinema through a variety of diverse and engaging voices.

Los Angeles City Hall will light up throughout the Academy Museum’s opening weekend, September 30 to October 2, 2021, in response to the illumination of the restored, five-story-high gold cylinder at the corner of the museum’s landmark Saban Building, at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Originally constructed for the May Company department store, this 1939 Streamline Moderne building was designed by Albert C. Martin, Sr., who was also the architect for the 1928 Art Deco City Hall. The historic façade will be contrasted by the modern spherical design of the museum’s theatre and meeting space.

The special lighting of the Pacific Wheel will take place on the evening of Thursday, September 30. The Ferris wheel lights can be seen from dusk until 11:35 PM each evening. Enjoy watching the light program online at

Special Lighting of the Pacific Wheel for the Academy Museum

Thursday, September 30
dusk (around 7 PM) to midnight

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier


Pacific Park regularly programs the Ferris wheel to display seasonal programing and themed light designs for holidays and special occasions. The Pacific Wheel’s state-of-the-art lighting package was installed in 2016 and can display over 1.6 million different colors and animate patterns and icons in 24 frames per second. The energy efficient LEDs on the face of the Ferris wheel are powered by solar arrays inside Pacific Park. The light programs are curated and designed by Pacific Park staff. Each design is manually animated; some designs can take hours of programming. The aim is to provide fun, high-energy, and sometimes whimsical designs to entertain guests on the Santa Monica Pier and surrounding beaches.


Feature image courtesy of @hydiehye