Tulsa's newest attraction is about ready to open
Wednesday, April 19th 2006, 9:10 AM CDT
There's a new attraction in town that is out of this world. A group of grade school kids got a special preview of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum's new planetarium.
The News on 6 was invited along for the ride and reporter Steve Berg has more in this exclusive report.
It's just a few small steps to your seat in the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. For one giant leap through the cosmos. Student Ethan Michael: "It's really cool, It's all 3D, awesome." Museum director Kathryn Pennington: "Being one of the first here. Kids will really be wowed."
If you haven't been to a planetarium in a while, Kathryn Pennington says you'll be impressed. Tulsa has one of just two of these ultra-high resolution digital video projectors in the world. It's light years ahead of the planetariums when "you" were a kid. â€œThat's older technology, it might be 20 or 30 years old technology where you would actually have a star ball and they would actually shine light through almost like a tin can with holes in it."
No tin cans here, a special fish-eye lens, seamless dome and booming subwoofers will whisk you away. Ethan Michael: "It was awesome. What I thought was the best was the wormhole, how they got to go to a different place."
Parent Renae Goolsba: "I think we expected it to be more like where you just see the stars, but it was a movie, it was where a child could understand. It was a lot of fun."
The 50-foot high dome is actually free hanging, suspended with chains from the ceiling and walls. It took 6 weeks to install and with the seats and projector and other equipment, at a cost of $1.3-million. Katheryn Pennington: "When you see water droplets coming at you or stars or you actually feel like you might be sucked up into a black hole, it's that total immersion of the senses that creates the whole environment that it's really unforgettable."
The planetarium says an influx of money from Vision 2025 allowed them to build it three years sooner than they could have otherwise.
Admission prices will be $6 for adults, $4 for kids 5 through 12 and kids 4 and under are free.
The planetarium officially opens on May 9th.