Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Delays Opening Until September 2021

The museum recently installed a 1,208-pound model of the shark featured in “Jaws” above an escalator. Credit…Chris Pizzello/Invision, via Associated Press

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is starting to feel a little cursed. Since the project was announced in 2012 — with an opening expected in 2017 — setbacks have included sparring architects, the discovery of mastodon fossils by excavation crews, a budget that ballooned by roughly 90 percent, the ouster of its founding director and now, for the second time, the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, the museum pushed back its opening to Sept. 30, 2021, from April 30, citing the virus and difficulty forecasting when public life may begin to normalize. The pandemic already scuppered a planned opening this week. “With the current surge of Covid-19, it would be irresponsible to maintain an April opening,” Bill Kramer, the museum’s director and president, said by phone. “It’s not because we aren’t ready. Work has been moving forward. We’re completely on track.”

Ted Sarandos, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees and Netflix’s co-chief executive, added in a statement: “It’s just a matter of patience, for all of us, as we look ahead to opening our doors on Sept. 30.” A private gala was set for Sept. 25.

How did the museum select those dates? This month, for instance, Warner Bros. said it would still be too difficult to release movies normally by next December because of the pandemic.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Brooks Barnes