Film Academy Museum Delays Its Opening Again


LOS ANGELES – The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is starting to feel cursed. Since the project was announced in 2012 – with an opening in 2017 – it has been sparring architects, the discovery of mastodon fossils by excavation teams, a budget that has increased by around 90 percent, the overthrow of its founding director and now for the second time the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, the museum pushed back its April 30 opening to September 30, 2021, citing the virus and the difficulty of predicting when public life will begin to normalize. The pandemic already missed a scheduled opening this week. “Given the current surge in Covid-19, it would be irresponsible to keep an opening open in April,” said Bill Kramer, director and president of the museum, over the phone. “It’s not because we’re not ready. The work has progressed. We are fully on the right track. “

Ted Sarandos, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees and co-managing director of Netflix, added in a statement: “It is just a matter of patience for all of us as we look forward to opening our doors on September 30th.” private gala took place on September 25th.

How did the museum choose these dates? For example, earlier this month Warner Bros. said it was still too difficult to get movies out normally through next December due to the pandemic.

Mr Kramer said summer is not an ideal time to open a cultural institution (too many people are scattered here and there). An opening in early September would clash with the Telluride and Toronto film festivals.

Had the $ 482 million museum stuck to its April plan, a marketing campaign would have started next month. The setting for gallery owners and ticket takers should also begin.

In all of its stops and starts, the museum has teamed up under Mr. Kramer, who was discontinued last year. (Previously, he was vice president of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.) For the past several months, the museum has hired film scholar and Turner Classic Movies host, Jacqueline Stewart, as chief artistic and programming officer. repaired relationships with Hollywood collectors; Received LEED environmental certification; and met its fundraising goal of $ 388 million before it opened. Despite difficult working conditions due to the coronavirus, the crews installed exhibits, including a 25-foot-long, 45-year-old fiberglass model of the mechanical shark that Steven Spielberg used to film “Jaws”.

Mr. Kramer nicknamed the shark Bruce “shockingly cool”.