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‘Bruce’ the 25-foot animatronic shark from ‘Jaws’ finds a home at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

In addition to Bruce, the museum’s collection includes over 10,000 other props, costumes and film equipment

The fiberglass replica of the shark featured in “Jaws,” was lifted into a suspended position for display at the new Academy of Museum of Motion Pictures on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Chris Pizzello, Associated Press

He might be the most feared creature of all time and, whether you’ve seen the movie or not, you know his famous two-note theme song. Now you can see him – and all 116 of his teeth – suspended 50 feet in the air.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles recently installed what will likely be its most prominent attraction: the last surviving animatronic shark from Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic thriller “Jaws.” On Friday, the giant toothy shark was hoisted up to its new home above the museum’s main escalator.

About the shark

  • The “Jaws” crew named the animatronic beast Bruce after Spielberg’s lawyer Bruce Ramer, according to The Associated Press.
  • According to the site, the shark is made mostly of fiberglass. He is 25 feet long, weighs 1,208 pounds and is 45 years old.
  • Bruce is a replica and he’s the last of his kind, USA Today reports. Three other mechanical Great Whites were constructed for “Jaws” but all were destroyed when production wrapped. Once the film became a huge box office success, producers decided to make a fourth shark (Bruce) from the mold for the originals.
  • Bruce spent 15 years at Universal Studios Hollywood positioned as a photo op for visitors but then ended up at a nearby junkyard in the early 1990s. After 25 years at the yard, Nathan Adlan, the owner of the business, donated Bruce to the Academy Museum in 2016, per The Associated Press.
  • Greg Nicotero, a special effects and makeup artist spent seven months restoring Bruce before he was taken to the museum, USA Today reports.

You can watch Bruce’s majestic ascension to his new home in this video posted by the Academy Museum:

How to see Bruce

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is located in the heart of Los Angeles, California, and it plans to open its doors to the public on April 30, 2021, according to USA Today.

In addition to Bruce, the museum’s collection includes over 10,000 other props, costumes and film equipment, including Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz,” the Aries-1B from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the extraterrestrial from “Alien,” The Associated Press reports.

Key quote

Bill Kramer, the director and president of the Academy Museum, said in a recent statement, via USA Today:

“It’s been a long journey for Bruce since he was acquired in 2016, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to his new home. ... We look forward to our opening when museum visitors can engage with our exhibitions, experience our beautiful Renzo Piano-designed building, and come face to face with one of the most iconic characters in film history.”