For a few devoted fans of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws,” the lasting horror isn’t the movie’s ominous theme music or its gory shipwreck finale.
It is the fate of “Junkyard Bruce,” the only surviving prop shark left after the release of the 1975 classic film.
For years, the 25-foot movie relic has been suspended over the entrance of Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking, a sprawling junkyard in the San Fernando Valley, dilapidated and weatherworn.
A die-hard “Jaws” fan, West Maätita, tracked Bruce to the junkyard in 2002, and has been trying to get the shark out of the 26-acre scrap heap ever since, saying it belongs in a museum.
“It is the Holy Grail for ‘Jaws’ fans,” says Mr. Maätita, 50 years old, who works in advertising production for a local community newspaper. “I’d place this shark prop up there with Dorothy’s ruby red slippers in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and the 18-inch King Kong puppet from ‘King Kong.’”