The cash-strapped Brooklyn Museum has eliminated its popular Friday night hours, disappointing students and nine-to-fivers, who treasure a chance to see exhibitions on weeknights.
The venerable institution quietly announced on Friday that beginning on July 1, it will close at 6 pm rather than 10 pm.
Administrators blamed budget woes — and underwhelmed visitors — for the decision to curtail Friday night hours, which were introduced last year in a bid to attract new members.
“People come on Fridays looking for something fun — but to do that, we needed to invest more,” said marketing manager Alisa Martin. “And the budget is already stretched.”
As a result, Thursday night will be the only chance for working Brooklynites to enjoy the Museum’s vast offerings during the week.
“It’s disappointing,” said Ciara Gay, a Parsons art student, who said her teachers sometimes require trips to the museum. “It makes it difficult due to conflicts with classes.”
Weekend hours are unchanged. And there is no immediate plan to curtail the popular “First Saturdays” programming, which keeps the museum open until 11 pm one night a month.
Shrinking hours of operation come as the museum scrambles to attract — and keep — members as city budget priorities shift away from the arts. It also comes after the museum announced a bevy of “emergency measures,” including raising suggested fees from $8 to $10 on Saturdays, cutting staff and then offering wall space to the winner of Sarah Jessica Parker’s reality TV show, “Work of Art: The Next Great” — which surprised some museum-lovers.
“We can more effectively serve our audience by presenting an increasingly dynamic and engaging schedule of programs each Thursday,” said museum director Arnold Lehman.
The loss of Friday night hours once again puts the Brooklyn Museum behind its inferior peers in Manhattan. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, is open late on Friday and Saturday nights while the Museum of Modern Art is open late Thursday through Saturday.
Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 638-5000]. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.