Last Surviving 'Jaws' Shark Donated To Academy Museum
They're gonna need a bigger exhibit hall.The forthcoming Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' museum has received the largest object that will go on display—the last remaining model of "Bruce," the shark from Jaws. Previously, Bruce was on display over the entrance of the now closed Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking junkyard in Sun Valley for 25 years, after late owner Sam Adlen (he added the extra "a" in his business name to be at the front of the phonebook) purchased it from Universal in 1990. Sadly, Aadlen Brothers closed at the end of 2015, meaning Bruce had to find new waters to thrive in.
Nathan Adlen, Sam's son, will now be donating the fiberglass shark to the Academy's new museum, which is scheduled to open in 2017 at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, in the former May Company Building. "This extraordinary addition to our collection, made possible through the generosity of Nathan Adlen, is a major contribution to the resources we will use to illuminate film history and enhance the public's understanding of the arts and sciences of motion pictures," said museum director Kerry Brougher in an official statement.
The shark being donated to the museum was never actually in the 1975 movie, but was cast from the same mold that the three rubber and latex props used in the film were. Those three deteriorated and as such, "Junkyard Bruce" is the last surviving version of the original shark.
The move is a victory for Jaws superfan West Maätita, who runs the Save Junkyard Bruce campaign. Sharing the same sentiment as another well known Steven Spielberg character, Maätita long argued that it belonged in a museum. "I'd place this shark prop up there with Dorothy's ruby red slippers in The Wizard of Oz, and the 18-inch King Kong puppet from King Kong," he told the Wall Street Journal.
Dorothy's ruby red slippers, by the way, will also be on display at the Academy Museum.