Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Laser Concerts “2.0” to Return to Science Center

Icarus

(all photos courtesy of Audio Visual Imagineering)

For the South Florida Science Center, the day the music died was approximately three years ago, when the venue discontinued its popular laser concert series. “The system we had was so old and antiquated, it was doing a disservice to continue to run those,” says Kate Arrizza, the center’s chief operating officer.

But this fall, after much anticipation and some serious upgrades, the center’s Dekelboum Planetarium will once again tune its amps to 11 and set its lasers ablaze for a monthly series of all-new shows.

Currently closed for renovations, the planetarium and theater are in the process of beautifying and upgrading their décor and technology, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Elsie and Marvin Dekelboum Family Foundation. When they reopen in October, visitors will experience new carpeting, seating, curtains and wall coverings. More importantly, the newly installed state-of-the-art laser system will, for the first time, feature a hazer and integrative cove lighting. The effect of these upgrades will produce a 3D effect without necessitating glasses.

Power of the Dream

“When you’re watching these incredible laser shows, now with double the amount of lasers, you’ll see haze in the planetarium, which just makes it more vibrant, and come to life even more,” Arrizza says.

The new system arrives with 20 new programs, from seasonal themed concerts to celebrations of iconic bands and albums. Friday, Oct. 13 marks an appropriate night for the grand re-opening of the laser concerts, with a “Fright Lights” program of Halloween-themed music at 7 p.m. It will followed by a Beatles show at 8 p.m. and a celebration of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” at 9.

Dark Side logo

Future shows will be dedicated to acts such as Led Zeppelin and Metallica. During laser-show nights, the center will offer food for sale, along with entry to its west wing exhibits.

“The laser concerts bring in a very different audience” from the typical Science Center entrants, Arrizza says. “It’s a really good mix from millennials to people in their 40s to 60s that want to relive this music.”

Laser Zep logo

Beyond the laser shows, the planetarium hosts daily shows about space and nature on its “Digital Sky Scan” full-dome, 360-degree projection screen, which itself received an upgrade last year. It was an expectedly popular destination this past Monday, when the Science Center attracted 2,000 guests for its eclipse viewing party. Arrizza doesn’t expect public interest in astrophysics to wane anytime soon.

“We have had more people ask, ‘When is your observatory open, when are your renovations going to be done?’ By the time people were leaving that day, they wanted to join the astronomy club, they wanted to know what constellations you can see in the summertime. I can 100-percent guarantee you that this eclipse has piqued an interest that we have not seen here at the Science Center for a very long time.”

For more on the planetarium’s offerings and the forthcoming laser shows, call 561/832-1988 or visit sfsciencecenter.org. The Science Center is at 4801 Dreher Trail N., West Palm Beach.

John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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