Monday, June 5, 2023 Jun 5, 2023
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For Fun

Remembering the IMAX Theater at The Science Place at Fair Park

This video was a staple of hundreds of grade school field trips.
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If you, like me, are of a certain generation and grew up in Dallas taking regular field trips to The Science Place at Fair Park, then maybe the above image induces in you a kind of Proustian involuntary memory: You are sitting in a darkened IMAX theater, cherry sours from the gift shop dissolving in your mouth while you wait with rising excitement for the big-screen show about the impossible hugeness of the solar system or the nocturnal habits of prairie dogs on the savannah or whatever, further anticipating the moment when you can walk out of the theater and go run around the lagoon outside.

Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, shout-out to Phillip Thomas for posting this video on YouTube and sending me down a nostalgia K-hole.

Thomas writes in the description:

The signature film for the TI Founders IMAX Theater at the Science Place in Fair Park. It premiered at the opening in June 1996 and ran before all the main feature films until about 2010. Paradoxically, the movie was shot in the largest film format in the world, but the only video copy here is in the lowest format: old NTSC TV – (640×480). HD did not exist in 1996. The film was shot in the “OmniMax” format for dome theaters so it has that “fisheye” look to most shots. The soundtrack is AWESOME. Watch with headphones! Every car, lamp pole and building swish by in fantastic stereo. And the amazing score by Dallas’s John Hunter is a work of art. The 6 channel Imax mix was done in Canada and took 3 days.

The Science Place has sat empty for years, our city’s educational science and petroleum extraction content for kids all moved to the Perot Museum. Recent efforts to spruce up and reinvigorate Fair Park have sparked occasional speculation about getting a new tenant in there. I’d love to see The Science Place and its IMAX Theater make a comeback. Kids these days don’t know what they’re missing.

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