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He said the museum’s old theater was run down and not being used.

“I realized our industry needed to be better represented,” Meyer said, adding that he hopes other film companies help build the Smithsonian’s collection.

Dwight Blocker Bowers, the Smithsonian’s entertainment curator, said the addition of a movie theater means the Smithsonian is taking the history of film seriously. The museum is in early talks with the American Film Institute to develop a daily film screening, he said.

“We’re hoping to make Warner Bros.‘ dollar and our tax dollars function for the audience,” he said.

Warner Bros. may also donate some movie objects to the museum, Bowers said.

“We always have a wish list in our hip pocket,” he said.

The James Smithson Bicentennial Medal was established in 1965.