The museum was spearheaded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organization that hands out the Oscars, and opens to the public on Sept. 30.
Hanks, a member of the board of trustees for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, said it was important that Los Angeles have a showcase for the movie business, as the home of Hollywood.
“We need to celebrate everything that this town has brought to the world, and everything the art form has brought to the world, in order to bring people together,” Hanks said at a preview for the media.
“Movies continue to be the magical art that speaks to everybody everywhere,” Hanks added.
The museum sits on a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 sq. metres) campus and consists of two buildings connected by glass bridges. Two movie theatres are housed inside.
On display are movie memorabilia including a pair of red slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” the Rosebud sled from “Citizen Kane” and a R2-D2 model from “Star Wars,” along with costumes and video displays running film clips.
The museum addresses controversies as well, including a historical lack of on-screen diversity and the #MeToo movement that exposed sexual harassment.
Plans for the museum were first announced in 2012 with a projected 2016 opening, but building was repeatedly delayed.
Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the museum is located in mid-town Los Angeles, offering sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills.
“It is shiny and new and enormous, and it’s crammed with about 125 years’ worth of ideas and dreams and life-changing cinematic experiences,” said Kendrick. “Everybody who works in the movies wants to see this place.”