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Academy Museum Opening Postponed (Again) To September Due to COVID-19

“With the sharp increase in COVID-19 infections … it would be irresponsible to open this spring,” says museum president Bill Kramer

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has pushed back its opening date from April 30 to September 30, 2021 due to coronavirus concerns.

The museum will open its doors to the public on Sept. 30 and will be preceded by a number of opening events including a gala on Sept. 25, the museum announced today.

The postponement dashes plans to have the museum open near the same time as the Academy Awards ceremonies and telecast, still on track for April 25.

The new date represents the second time the long-delayed museum had had to postpone its opening due to the pandemic. The museum was scheduled to open on Dec. 14 this year, a date announced onstage during the Oscars broadcast this past February. In June, the museum announced the museum would delay to April 30, 2021 in keeping with the pandemic postponement of the Oscars from Feb. 28 to April 25.

“Our team has been working incredibly hard toward an April opening, and we have been on track to maintain that date. But, with the sharp increase in COVID-19 infections, museums remaining closed, and a stay-at-home order still in place for the foreseeable future in Los Angeles, it would be irresponsible to open this spring,” museum director and president Bill Kramer told TheWrap.  “We instead look forward to welcoming guests in September, when we can offer the full Academy Museum experience the public deserves, as safely as possible.”

Said Ted Sarandos, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, in a statement, “Despite the many challenges of 2020, the museum has accomplished a great deal this year…we are fortunate to have one of the world’s most exciting new cultural institutions ready to go.  Now it’s just a matter of patience, for all of  us, as we look ahead to opening our doors on September 30.”

The institution recently passed a major milestone: the museum exceeded its pre-opening fundraising campaign goal of $388 million. The Renzo Piano-designed structure, located at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Fairfax Ave on Museum Row, was first announced in 2012 with a target opening date of 2017.

The museum is restoring the historic Saban Building, formerly known as the May Company Building (1939) to include six floors, including exhibition spaces, the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater, and other features. A new spherical addition features the 1,000-set David Geffen Theater and the rooftop Dolby Family Terrace.