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Academy Museum opening delayed to 2020

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It’s not the first delay

Renzo Piano Building Workship/L’Autre Image, courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Tinseltown will have to wait another year to roll out the red carpet for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In an email to supporters today, museum officials say the new venue next to LACMA on Wilshire Boulevard will open in 2020, and The Hollywood Reporter says it won’t be “any time prior” to the Oscars in February.

In the email, museum officials say constructing the new venue—a 130-foot tall glass and concrete orb—and joining it to the former May Company department store at Fairfax and Wilshire, which it’s turning into exhibition space, has been “highly complex.”

“At every decision point along the way, we have always chosen the path that would enhance the structure, even if that meant construction would take more time to complete.”

It’s not the Academy Museum’s first delay. Construction was originally supposed to be substantially complete by December 2017, according to Variety. But that date was pushed to 2018, then pushed again.

The $388 million project is part of an evolving stretch of Wilshire Boulevard. Next door, most of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is poised to be demolished and totally rebuilt. The La Brea Tar Pits will also undergo a “reimagining.” In 2023, the first phase of the Metro’s Purple Line extension to the Westside is set to open, with a station at Wilshire and Fairfax.

The Academy Museum is being funded with private donations. Its collection will include photographs, films, screenplays, props, and other historic moviemaking accoutrements—including the typewriter Joseph Stefano used to write the screenplay for Psycho and the last remaining life-size model of the great white shark from Jaws.