RICHMOND (WRIC) - The Dome at the Science Museum of Virginia's IMAX auditorium will be closed through mid-March for renovations -- it's the first major upgrade in 30 years.
Immersive Experience Specialist Justin Bartel says it's all to make way for a new system with five projectors, the highest resolution available, a seamless screen and brighter pictures.
The new 76-foot dome will allow the museum to expand its educational programs to include astronomy for the first time.
"All the planets, moons and stars," he says. "We actually fly through the universe and take the audience where they want to go. There will be things behind you, above you, left and right you'll be totally surrounded by the show."
"We've never been able to pull this off technically with the equipment we had before," says Director of Technology Jim Peck.
The museum says millions of visitors have seen an IMAX film or other program in the auditorium since 1983 and a spike in foot traffic is expected when doors open back up in March.
Janet Kruger, who stopped by with a group from Hampton Academy, can't wait.
"We'd love to come back and see it," she says. "You don't have to be little, old, you can be any age to come here and learn."
The museum is excited too and says the screen improvements will give guests a cutting edge experience.
"It's always been the biggest and best now it's even bigger and better," Peck says.
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