- By Cynthia Lum
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, due to open in April 2021 has acquired and installed the largest object in it’s collection, the only existing shark prop model made from the original mould used for the 1975 Steven Spielberg thriller Jaws.
The 25 foot model of a great white, that is affectionately referred to as “Bruce the Shark”, was the fourth and final cast made from the original mould, and is the only one still in existence. It was created in 1975 as a photo prop for visitors at Universal Studios Hollywood, where it remained on view until 1990, and later wound up in a junkyard in Sun Valley California. I was authenticated there by a special effects crew member who worked on the original Jaws and in 2016 it was donated to the museum by Nathan Adlen, the junkyard’s owner. “Bruce caught the eye of my father, Sam Adlen, at first glance back in 1990, and for many years he’s been like a member of the family,” said Nathan Adlen in a statement after donating the shark in 2016.
Museum workers had to remove multiple panels from the building’s glass wall to get the great white shark into the building, where it now hangs suspended 30 feet above the museum’s third floor, visible to both museum-goers as well as pedestrians on Fairfax Avenue.
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