‘Oppenheimer’ boosts National Museum of Nuclear Science and History visits

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The highly anticipated movie Oppenheimer is premiering Thursday night in theaters across the metro. It tells the story of the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II.

New Mexico plays a big role in that story, and a local museum is feeling the impact of the film’s popularity.

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History has been telling that story since 1969.  

“Knowing the Oppenheimer movie was coming out it was so relevant to who we are as a museum being America’s resource for nuclear science and history,” said Jennifer Hayden, president & CEO of the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. 

While people across the country are getting ready to go see Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Oppenheimer, it’s not just the movie theaters that are drawing in crowds of folks interested in the atomic age.

“When the trailer came out it was so heavy showing the Trinity Tower and the gadget. So those were the testing of the world’s very first testing of the atomic bomb. And seeing those many people maybe knowing or hoping they can see those at our museum, we have seen an influx of visitation from in state and out of state,” said Hayden.

June and July are usually the peak times for visiting the Nuclear Science Museum. But, this year, they have seen even more tourists stopping by, hoping to get a close-up look at Oppenheimer’s legacy before they see it on the big screen.

“We have a huge collection from the Manhattan Project era. We have the exhibition behind me that is an artist rendition of what he believed the Los Alamos labs looked like during the project. We have casings of the Fat Man and Little Boy, have the actual casing of the gadget. We also have a replica of the Trinity Tower, a 100-foot tall steel tower. It shows a replica of the gadget getting hoisted up, so that will take people back in time and that’s something you will see in the trailer for Oppenheimer,” Hayden said.  

But it’s not just the folks visiting the museum who are hyped for the premiere.

“I am so excited to see Oppenheimer, I really am looking forward to it,” said Hayden.