Franklin Institute reopens with temperature checks, sanitizing stations, 25% capacity

John McDevitt
July 08, 2020 - 4:22 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After being closed for nearly four months, The Franklin Institute reopened to the public Wednesday with significant coronavirus safety precautions in place — and a few powerful people. 

The science museum’s latest modified exhibit is “The Presidents by Madame Tussauds,” featuring life-size wax figures of every American president and other notable dignitaries, like Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Obamas. Justin Bieber and Beyoncé made the cut, too.

“The Presidents by Madame Tussauds” exhibit at The Franklin Institute
John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

“The Presidents by Madame Tussauds” exhibit at The Franklin Institute
John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

“The Presidents by Madame Tussauds” exhibit at The Franklin Institute
John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

But to get to the varnished celebs, visitors must first witness science in action: Guests are required to go through a touchless temperature check at the door.

Anyone 3 and older must wear a face mask, and there are timed tickets that must be purchased in advance so the museum can properly operate at 25% capacity. 

There are reminders all over to stay 6 feet away from one another. The museum ramped up cleaning and disinfecting efforts to multiple times a day, and several hygiene screens and sanitizing stations were installed for visitors.

Museum-goers like Jackie Metzger of Delaware and her 13-year-old nephew, Collin Hewitt, said all of the extra steps to protect everyone’s health are well worth it.

“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stay safe and still participate in life,” Metzger said. “Even when we were touching things, they were right behind us cleaning. There are hand sanitizers everywhere, wipes everywhere.“

“I’ll always have a mask because everyone has to wear one,” added Collin.

Franklin Institute President and CEO Larry Dubinski said if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of science. 

“(Science is) the reason The Franklin Institute has been here for 200 years,” he said, “and we will continue to be here for a long period as well.”

The wax figures are maskless, of course, so visitors will be able to learn a little bit about them and pose for pictures, all while keeping with COVID-19 safety precautions. “The Presidents by Madame Tussauds” exhibit is a $7 upcharge from general admission.