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The new museum was initially housed in the March Air Force Base's 1930-vintage base theater located just north of the base's parade ground. There, the museum's 2000 square foot main exhibit area was filled with photographs depicting the history of the base from its founding in 1918. Model airplanes and paintings were also original display items. An aircraft park, to feature aircraft that once flew from March, was also established near the main gate at Cactus and Graham. The March Field Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to support the museum with fund raising and volunteer help.  The Foundation operates a Gift Shop, holds golf tournaments, annual Santa Maria Barbeques and other events to raise money. $400,000 was raised to build the current hangar building. On February 20, 1981, the March Field Museum opened its doors to the public in another facility (Building 420--the former commissary building). The building was 26,000 square feet and allowed for two or three aircraft to be put indoors plus the relocation of the collection and office space. Prior to 1993, most of the approximately 50 airplanes were located on a flight-line parking ramp. The March Field Museum remained in the commissary building until 1993 when the museum moved to its current location on the west side of the runway. The 26,880 square foot facility allowed for more and better displays on aircraft and March Field history.  The aircraft are now parked at the new museum location and can be seen from the freeway.  Before 1996, the museum director's office had been staffed by either civil service or military personnel under the Vice Wing Commander's office.  In April 1996, upon the realignment and downsizing of  March Air Force Base, the museum  (all but the airplanes, which remain on loan to USAF) was turned over from the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson AFB, through the Joint Powers Commission, to the March Field Museum Foundation, to be run as a private, non-profit institution. The March Field Air Museum opened a new 12,000 square foot "Hangar 2" in June, 2011, for educational programs, the museum library and events.

Source and information: http://www.marchfield.org/

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