By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced Friday it has delayed its opening until fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The museum, which was set to open in spring, decided to push back the opening to protect the health and safety of its visitors and staff, according to its director and president Bill Kramer.

The museum dedicated to the art and science of movies is now scheduled to open to the public on Sept. 30 and be preceded by a series of opening events, including a gala on Sept. 25, he said.

“We are putting the final touches on our stunning exhibitions and public spaces, and while we were ready and eager to welcome visitors in the spring, with the current surge of COVID-19, it would be irresponsible to maintain an April opening,” Kramer said. “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.”

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum is housed on six floors in the historic Saban Building — formerly known as the May Company building — at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

The museum will feature exhibition spaces, the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, the Debbie Reynolds Conservation Studio, special event spaces, a cafe and store. A new spherical addition connects to the Saban Building via glass bridges and features the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and the rooftop Dolby Family Terrace with sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills.

“Despite the many challenges of 2020, the museum has accomplished a great deal this year: completing its pre-opening fundraising campaign, obtaining LEED Gold certification, and the installation of exceptional exhibitions,” said Ted Sarandos, chair of the museum’s board of trustees.

“We are fortunate to have one of the world’s most exciting new cultural institutions ready to go. Now it’s just a matter of patience, for all of us, as we look ahead to opening our doors on September 30,” Sarandos said.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)