Museum of the Moving Image

There are so many things to do in New York, its hard to keep track. No matter how long you stay in the city, you’re going to miss a lot of things. Realizing you can’t see everything is the first step to really planning your vacation. Being that the city is a cultural center, there are several world class museums to visit, it can be hard to choose between them all. When we found out that the Museum of the Moving Image was featuring retro Video Games and Muppets, how could we say no?

The Museum of the Moving Image is located in Astoria, Queens, in the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios – which has been in use since the 1920s. This designated heritage site has been in use since the 1920s, and was once the Paramount Pictures east coast studio. Many incredible shows and movies have been made here, from the Godfather to Sesame Street. They had two main exhibits on feature during our visit, the “A whole different Ball Game” and the “Jim Henson Exhibition”.

On the top floor of the museum was their featured exhibit “A whole different Ball Game”, which is in celebration of 60 years of sports video games. There were many old games set up here that we could play with, including the Tennis on Commodore 64, Basewars on the original Nintendo, NBA Jam Arcades and NFL Blitz for the Nintendo 64. We probably could have spent a few hours upstairs playing video games all afternoon, but we only had a short time to visit the museum and they would eventually kick us out.

Basewars for the original Nintendo. 2019.

Showing the evolution of video games from simple games like Tennis for Two and Pong and how they evolved into being capable of interactive 3D gaming experiences was fun to see. There are even games now that have professional players, where the art of imitating sports has become a sport itself. On the top floor, they also have a collection of old television sets, props from movies and old film projectors which show how drastically television and entertainment has changed. Especially when we’re walking around with a GoPro which fits into your pocket, it really puts things into perspective.

One floor down was the main event, where they have have the Jim Henson Exhibition, a permanent feature of the museum. The collection is vast, with old props and memorabilia from the great artist’s life that have been collected here, including many of the original muppets from both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. We got to see Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, the Swedish Chef, the Cookie Monster and Big Big Bird, just to name a few.

It was the perfect way to spend our first day in New York, enjoying one of the lesser known museums in the city. We hope you enjoy our latest video, featuring the Museum of the Moving Image.

Museum of the Moving Image:

Located in Astoria, Queens, the Museum of the Moving Image was one of the best things we did in New York. They had two main exhibits that were being featured during our visit, the “A whole different Ball Game” and the “Jim Henson Exhibition”. Located in the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios – which has been in use since the 1920s – this building is a national heritage site, and was once home to the east coast studio of Paramount Pictures. Everything from the Godfather to Sesame Street has been filmed here.

The top floor was home to their featured exhibit, which was focused on Sports Video Games over the last 60 years. This included early games like Pong and Tennis for Two, to early console systems like the Commodore 64 and Nintendo all the way up to modern day video games. They also had a lot of early filming equipment, television sets and props from movies. Many of these displays (including the videos games) were interactive. One floor down is the permanent feature at the museum, and features work from the great Jim Henson, who helped create both the Muppets and Sesame Street, and many of the original muppets were on display.

Museum of the Moving Image. 2019.

2 comments

  1. This sounds like such a cool museum! I had no idea it even existed but now I really want to visit. I love the idea of getting to see how much technology has changed. I’m 29 and when I think about the improvements that have been made in my lifetime it’s kind of mind-blowing. Plus everyone knows that the old video games systems were the best haha!
    Beth x

    • Yes! It was amazing playing some of the games we grew up with on the Nintendo! Especially when you’re walking around filming with a camera (GoPro) that fits into your pocket, its a pretty amazing thing

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