Sunday, April 11

Space theatre relaunched

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A ladybug and a firefly took the audience on a journey into the world of trees at the Space Theatre in Science City on Monday.

The theatre, which had been closed for two years for renovation, reopened on Monday with a new 3D screen, six new projectors and improved surround sound.

The first film to be screened was The Life of Trees, made by Munich-based award-winning animation studio Softmachine.

The 33-minute story, told from the perspective of insects, revolves around a ladybug, Dolores, and a firefly, Mike. The two zip past trees, big and small, discovering one secret after another — how do plants get food from the earth and sun, how does water move from the roots to the top defying gravity and how do plants make life on earth possible.

Before the opening of the revamped theatre, Science City director Subhabrata Chaudhuri had promised a viewing experience better than multiplexes.

If the reaction of the schoolchildren in the audience was anything to go by, the theatre aced the test. With 3D glasses on, the audience was transported into the scenes. As Dolores and Mike flapped their wings, some of the kids tried reaching out for them from their seats.

Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the theatre from New Delhi through videoconferencing.

Science City, which is part of the National Council of Science Museums, had sent its proposal for an upgrade to the culture ministry in September 2015. The approval came in 2016 but it took a year for the contract to be awarded to Carl Zeiss AG, the German manufacturer of optical systems.

The theatre had closed for the upgrade on March 1, 2017. The project cost Rs 20 crore.

The earlier celluloid-based projection depended on a lone projector.

On Monday, images from six new Christie Mirage projectors blended on the new hemispherical dome made by US-based Astrotech. “This is a momentous day for Science City. The 23-degree tilted full dome digital theatre is the first of its kind in India,” director Chaudhuri said after the inauguration.

The dome of India’s first Space Theatre was inaugurated along with the rest of Science City on July 1, 1997. It has since received more than 7 million visitors, Chaudhuri said.

The first film to be screened was Serengeti, which documents the journey of more than two million wildebeests, zebras and antelopes over 500 miles across the Serengeti plains of Tanzania.

The other film that will be shown at the new theatre is Asteroid: Mission Extreme.

It explores asteroids and their relationship with the Earth.

Students will get tickets at a discount provided they have a letter from the school authorities, Chaudhuri said..

Source: Telegraph India

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