The last shoe drops: All 21 California museums we were tracking have closed

The Broad museum in downtown L.A.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

For the first time since the Broad museum opened five years ago, the long line outside — typically thick with selfie-snapping millennials and bubbly tourists — had disappeared on Friday but for a few stragglers who were turned away at the door. The museum had announced a day earlier that it would be closed until March 31, joining theaters, music venues and other cultural institutions and events in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

After California Gov. Gavin Newsom recommended canceling public gatherings of 250 or more people, culture in California began crawling into hibernation. On Tuesday the last holdout — the Huntington in San Marino, which had shut its library and art museum but kept its vast botanical gardens open — announced that it was closing the entire campus to visitors.

Here’s a rundown of who closed, when, and how long the initial closures were said to last:


The first wave of closures

The Broad, downtown L.A.: Closed through at least March 31

Getty Museum (Getty Center in Brentwood and Getty Villa in Malibu): Closed Saturday until further notice

Museum of Contemporary Art (Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary), downtown L.A.: Closed until further notice

Griffith Observatory, L.A.: Closed until further notice

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Closed until March 28

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco: Closed through March 28

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (De Young and Legion of Honor): Closed until March 31

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Closed through at least March 27

Coachella, SXSW, “Hamilton,” the next “Fast and Furious” movie and even Disneyland have been affected by the coronavirus. But wait — there’s more.

March 18, 2020

The second wave of closures:

Hammer Museum, Westwood: Closed until further notice (announced Friday afternoon)

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, L.A.: Closed until further notice (announced Friday afternoon)

La Brea Tar Pits Museum, L.A.: Closed until further notice (announced Friday afternoon)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, L.A.: Closed until further notice (announced Friday afternoon)

San Diego Museum of Art: Closed until further notice (announced Friday afternoon)

Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana: Closed until April 18 (announced Friday afternoon)

USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena: Closed until April 14 (announced Saturday morning)

Palm Springs Art Museum: Closed until further notice (announced Saturday)

Skirball Cultural Center, West L.A.: Closed through May 3 (announced Saturday morning)

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena: Closing Sunday until further notice (announced Saturday morning)

California Science Center, L.A.: Closed until further notice (announced late afternoon Saturday)

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana: Closing Tuesday through March 31 (announced Sunday).

Last closure

Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, San Marino: On Saturday it closed indoor spaces such as library exhibition halls and art galleries until further notice, but the gardens remained open. On Tuesday a new announcement went out, closing the gardens starting Wednesday through April 14.

The hit musical’s return to L.A. for an eight-month run has been paused, following major cancellations elsewhere in the theater world.

March 12, 2020


9:41 a.m. March 14, 2020: This article has been updated with new closures since the original publication at 2:20 p.m. Friday.