In a somewhat surprising move, George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson have decided to open their new interactive experience, now called the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, in Chicago. The location was chosen over both Los Angeles and San Francisco, with both cities previously being considered.

The museum will house George Lucas's immense collection of art and movie memorabilia. The museum's board is making the official announcement on Wednesday, and will confirm the name change from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Architectural renderings will be presented to city officials in early fall, pending approval by the Chicago Plan Commission. The museum will be located on parking lots between Soldier Field and McCormick Place and is scheduled to open sometime in 2018.

The decision to move to Chicago came after George Lucas's legacy project turned sour with the board of a national park in San Francisco. Mayor Rahm Emanuel also lobbied hard to bring the museum to his city. The decision was finally made due to the fact that Chicago has more tourists than San Francisco. It is also located near the Museum Campus, home to the Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium. George Lucas hopes to collaborate with all three in the near future.

A native of Modesto, California, George Lucas stated,

"Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in the Bay Area."

George Lucas currently lives in Chicago part time with his wife, an Ariel Investments President who helped make the decision. The museum will house a collection that includes Norman Rockwell paintings, pieces from Industrial Light & Magic, and other memorabilia including a scale model of the Millennium Falcon. Some of the collection is featured on the museum's website, CLICK HERE

The artifacts on display will be wrapped around the theme of storytelling, with many of the attractions predating the arrival of film, TV and radio. The collection will continue to grow after the museum opens, and also includes the largest movie poster archive in existence.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange