Actor Richard Dreyfuss to Help Celebrate 40th Anniversary of "Jaws" on June 14 at Maritime Aquarium

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The Academy Award-winning actor will share his experiences in making the blockbuster film, prior to its screening on the Aquarium's six-story movie screen.

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Academy Award-wining actor Richard Dreyfuss will talk about the making of “Jaws” during a 40th anniversary celebration of the blockbuster film on Sun., June 14 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

Hosting a screening of ‘Jaws’ will give The Maritime Aquarium the opportunity to correct some of the myths about sharks that persist today … – John Lenzycki, Curator of Animals

Roy Scheider thought they needed a bigger boat, but The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk certainly does not need a bigger movie screen for a special 40th anniversary presentation of “Jaws” on Sun., June 14 with special guest Richard Dreyfuss.

Tickets for the public go on sale at 9:30 a.m. Monday (March 2) for two special screenings of “Jaws” on the Aquarium’s six-story movie screen. Prior to the evening show, Dreyfuss will share his experiences in making the film that famously scared millions of people out of the water in 1975 (and ever since).

Dreyfuss played the story’s marine biologist Matt Hooper, who becomes one of the shark’s victims in Peter Benchley’s book but is spared by director Stephen Spielberg. Dreyfuss’ celebrated career also includes such films as “American Graffiti,” “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Tin Men” and “Stakeout.” He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1978 for “The Goodbye Girl” and was nominated in 1995 for “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

Maritime Aquarium members have had the exclusive first opportunity to purchase seats – similar to previous such special events featuring Gene Wilder (for “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”) and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

A limited number of remaining tickets go on public sale Monday morning.

Here are the ticket options for the “Jaws” events on June 14:

  • a private VIP party at 5:30 p.m. with Richard Dreyfuss, plus reserved seating for the 7 p.m. in-theater talk by Dreyfuss and the movie screening. Tickets: $225, or $200 for Aquarium members.
  • the 7 p.m. in-theater talk with Richard Dreyfuss and screening of “Jaws” (limited to 310 people). Tickets: $65, or $60 for members.
  • a 1 p.m. screening of "Jaws" (no Richard Dreyfuss). Tickets: $11.50 for adults, $10.50 youths & seniors, $9.50 children.

“Jaws,” of course, was the first modern blockbuster, quickly becoming the highest-grossing movie ever (at the time). One writer said “Jaws” wasn’t just a movie, “it was an event, and its success changed forever the way Hollywood marketed films.”

“Jaws” also gave sharks a very bad name, creating a public perception that the ocean predators are vengeance-seeking blood-thirsty killers of everyone and everything. It’s a reputation that The Maritime Aquarium and other ocean conservation organizations are still trying to correct 40 years later.

“Catching and killing sharks became popular sport after ‘Jaws,’ and remains so today,” said John Lenzycki, the Aquarium’s curator of animals. “Even Peter Benchley himself came to regret the damage that ‘Jaws’ did to shark populations. Hosting a screening of ‘Jaws’ will give The Maritime Aquarium the opportunity to correct some of the myths about sharks that persist today, discuss their importance in marine ecosystems and explain how people are far more dangerous to sharks than sharks are to people.”

Tickets for the “Jaws”/Dreyfuss events are available now to Maritime Aquarium members by phone at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.

Beginning Monday at 9:30 a.m., members and non-members may purchase tickets by phone or online at http://www.maritimeaquarium.org.

The Maritime Aquarium is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate visitors about – and to create stewards for – Long Island Sound. It accomplishes this by allowing visitors to get close to more than 250 species native to the Sound and its watershed, including sharks, seals, sea turtles, river otters, jellyfish and other animals. One of the top places for family fun in Connecticut, the Aquarium also features hands-on educational programs and displays, public study cruises out onto the Sound, and Connecticut's largest IMAX movie theater, with a screen that's six stories high.

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Dave Sigworth
The Maritime Aquarium
+1 (203) 852-0700 Ext: 2232
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