Digital theater and planetarium coming to U.S. Space and Rocket Center

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is converting its Space Dome IMAX theater into an Evans and Southerland 8k planetarium and digital theater for the community to enjoy.

It's a highly anticipated change at Alabama's number one tourist attraction.

"The planetarium is the best in the world," said Deborah Barnhart, U.S. Space & Rocket CEO. "It will also provide for us a fabulous digital theater, so we are not losing our capability to show first-run movies and other kinds of exciting entertainment in that theater."

Pat Ammons, Director of Communications, added of the screen, "It is cutting edge. It is going to be crisp and clear."

Leaders said the theater and planetarium are a direct investment from Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation. The work is going on right now to get the theater ready for its debut hopefully next month.

"We had to dismantle the original space dome theater, the IMAX theater," Ammons said. "We are refurbishing the entire theater. The place where the big discs from the projection system for the IMAX were had to be removed. We are retrofitting that area into a new classroom space."

They are ready for all that this will bring to the area, including entertainment and education opportunities.

"This planetarium will give us a chance to have live performances and live shows by some of the experts who are at NASA, at the Von Braun Astronomical Society, and the University," said Barnhart. "We don't have enough education about the cosmos here. This is going to give us a great opportunity."

Once it opens, officials said Huntsville will have something that no one else in the region can provide.

"It is going to truly be a game changer in terms of what this community has available to them right here in town," Ammons said.

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