Opening of Oscars museum in LA postponed again

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has been beset by delays.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has been beset by delays.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The long-awaited opening of Los Angeles' Oscars museum has been postponed again due to the pandemic, with officials saying its scheduled April debut would be "irresponsible" as the city grapples with record coronavirus cases.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, dedicated to the magic of movies and set to host iconic Hollywood treasures from Judy Garland's Wizard of Oz (1939) ruby slippers to Dracula's cape, has been beset by delays. It had been set to finally open April 30 next year, the week after the Academy's flagship event - the Oscars - but will now welcome visitors from September 30.

President Bill Kramer said in a statement last week that the museum was "ready and eager to welcome visitors in the spring", but "with the current surge of Covid-19, it would be irresponsible to maintain an April opening".

"We know a new day is coming for us all, and when it does, the Academy Museum will be ready to offer our visitors the remarkable experience we have all been wanting."

California has emerged as the latest epicentre in the United States' Covid-19 outbreak, reporting more than 52,000 new cases last Wednesday.

All indoor Los Angeles museums are closed due to Covid restrictions, with a regional "stay-at-home" order in effect until at least Dec 28.

The Oscars themselves were postponed by eight weeks to April 25, after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered movie theaters and wreaked havoc on Hollywood's release calendar.

The futuristic Academy museum contains a 1,000-seat theatre inside a seemingly-suspended glass, steel and concrete orb designed by Renzo Piano, connected by sky bridges to a converted department store housing the main galleries - and the recently installed 7.5-m shark model used in Jaws (1975).