The Dome at the Science Museum of Virginia is closed for the start of the New Year, and while we’ll temporarily miss our favorite way to watch a movie, we are really excited to see it when it reopens in March!
In the meantime, what exactly are they doing under that rounded roof? As if seeing an IMAX movie in the dome wasn’t cool enough, the Science Museum of Virginia is in the process of installing a brand new state of the art NanoSeam™ screen and 3D projection system for an awe-inspiring trip into the cosmos. I got a chance to completely geek-out over the renovation when Justin Bartel SMV’s Immersive Experience Specialist (cool title, huh?) showed me around.
Stepping out onto the plywood floor, I stood on top of the jungle of scaffolding which has overtaken the seats below. With the old panels removed, you can see the whole skeleton of the dome and the speakers that hide behind the screen to create that totally amazing surround sound.
On the old screen, when images moved across the screen you could see a slight ripple-effect as the panels had a slight overlap; the new panels, however, will be completely flush for totally smooth movement across the screen. But the new screen isn’t the only thing to give the Science Museum of Virginia some bragging rights.
The museum is also upping the “wow factor” with a 5-projector system creates over 14x the resolution of HDTV!
A typical HDTV screen has about 2 million pixels and a 4K full dome system has about 11 million, but the new Digistar 5 will combine 5 projectors for 30 million pixels. (I can’t even THINK of how many pixels that is without my head spinning.)
In addition to a smoother and brighter showing of films you already know and love, new digital movies will be added to the collection and will really show off the new upgrade The new films and projectors have the ability to use the full screen for images (typically only 2/3 of the screen is used) so you’ll even have images behind you.
Cosmic Expeditions, an extraordinary addition to the Science Museum’s offerings, will be the perfect chance to learn a little something while seeing all this new system can do. During a daily trip through space, visitors will be allowed to ask questions, and make requests so you can come back again and again and see something new every time. Remember that trip to the planetarium you took a million years ago? You won’t believe how much it has changed!
So hang tight, IMAX lovers!! Really, really cool things are happening under that dome!
We’ll keep you updated when they are ready to reopen!
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