Advanced Laser Rock Shows Premiere in June!

Debut Show: Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’

Also: Planetarium Announces Multi-Show Discount

There is good news for everyone who fondly remembers laser-rock shows in the old Vanderbilt Planetarium. Until three years ago, the Planetarium was low-tech – and so were the shows – until its much-needed renovation, technological update and re-opening as a state-of-the-art educational facility and showplace in early 2013.

In June, to complement the Konica Minolta GeminiStar III projection system that includes full-dome video and surround-sound, the Vanderbilt will unveil a cutting-edge SkyLase laser light-show system and entertainment programs from Audio Visual Imagineering, Inc. (AVI).

Dark Side of the Moon logo
First on the playbill will be Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” which will debut Friday, June 3, and be shown  Friday and Saturday nights at 10 p.m. throughout the summer.

This show, based on the 1973 album of that name, is the band’s most commercially successful work and has sold more than 50 million copies.

Joanne Young, managing director of AVI, said “Dark Side of the Moon,” which used psychedelic, rock and jazz sounds to explore humanitarian, political and philosophical empathy, “is one of the most startling and bizarre laser light shows of all time.”

Planetarium Announces Multi-Show Ticket Discount

Beginning Friday, June 3, visitors who purchase Planetarium show tickets can receive a discount if they want to stay for another show. They will get a $2.00 discount off the price of the second show when they buy both tickets at the same time. Similarly, daytime ticket buyers will receive a discount of $1.00 off the price of a second show.

Lance Reinheimer, the Vanderbilt’s executive director, said, “The SkyLase system will complete the technological transformation of the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. For years, many people who fondly remember the old laser-rock shows, which we introduced in 1977, have asked us when the Vanderbilt was going to bring them back. The wait is over. Technically and aesthetically, this new system will dazzle our visitors.”

Dave Bush, technical and production coordinator for the Planetarium, said, “SkyLase is the most advanced and technically remarkable system to date, and projects the impressive images front and back, over the entire 60-foot dome. Remote laser beams and fog machines enhance the imagery, creating a truly hypnotic and visceral light-show experience that transports viewers. This is what audiences have been waiting for.

“No laser light show is complete without a good sound system,” he said. “This is where the Planetarium can show off its audio capabilities. Its high-end 5.1 surround-sound system with top-of-the-line JBL VerTec speakers and a massive subwoofer deliver incredible richness and fidelity that creates an exciting, immersive experience. Are you ready to rock?”

In addition to “Dark Side of the Moon” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” the Planetarium’s library of general entertainment shows includes Laser Magic, The Beatles, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, U2, Laser Vinyl, Laser Country, Fright Night, Laser Retro, Laser Holidays and Laser Pop. These shows will be rolled out in the future.

SkyLase was created by Audio Visual Imagineering, Inc. (AVI), which collaborated with the Vanderbilt on the planetarium’s technological update.  Joanne Young said her company produced SkyLase to work with the Pangolin Laser Show Designer, the industry software standard for the creation of digital laser shows. The Planetarium uses the Pangolin software.

“SkyLase goes a step beyond conventional laser projection,” she said. “Its integrated fisheye optics and spherical geometry electronics enable the light to reach any location on a planetarium dome.” She added that the system has a large library of images, sequences, effects and full shows that can be accessed and integrated into a live planetarium performance.

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