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Science Museum of Virginia opens The Dome Digital Theater.

Images photographed from feature films which will be shown at the Dome Theater: entrance to the Dome.
Images photographed from feature films which will be shown at the Dome Theater: entrance to the Dome.

The Science Museum of Virginia offers visitors the most technologically advanced digital dome theater in the world! As Richard C. Conti, the CEO/Chief Wonder Officer of the museum stated, “They don’t build domes like this anymore!” Be prepared to be amazed as you travel through outer space, the Ice Age, a volcano and other unusual adventures.

The Science Museum's Dome Theater entrance

The 360-degree screen, which surrounds the audience, places you with in the action’s environment. A planet roars out of a starlight galaxy to engulf you in its massive surface. A white shark approaches with a gaping mouth and gleaming teeth. You are in the realm of the Ice Age or the land of Dinosaurs. With a 25 million pixels screen system the experience is only too real! (A photographic print’s resolution is at the greatest 300 pixels.)

The digital films which will be offered in The Dome are fun, educational, and hallucinogenic. The digital film adventures provide entertainment to children, students, computer nerds, travelers, and aging hippies.

In the Cosmic Expeditions, Justin Bartel, the Science Museum’s astronomer, controls the presentation by manipulating a panel of computers, from which he moves objects on the screen, interjects explanatory graphs and labels, and responds to audience interest. Bartel and his computers are located near the top row of theater seats. The computers control five digital projectors. The arrangement is attached to 40 computer servers.

The Cosmic digital films are animated from actual NASA photos and data. You will experience galaxies beyond our Milky Way. View recently discovered brown dwarf planets. View a black hole releasing energy streams while it swallows entire galaxies.

Want to travel into the rings of Saturn again. No problem. Bartel will quickly summon Saturn and you will be surrounded by passing rocks and ice, which form Saturn’s rings.

The Dome feature films which open this week are the Great White Shark and the Wildest Weather in the Solar System. For tickets call 804-864-1400 or The cost of the Dome film feature for adult is $9 ($5 for members); the cost of the Dome feature plus entrance to the museum exhibits for adults is $16 ($5 members). Teachers can find teacher guides at

If after your adventures you have an attack of the munchies visit the Periodic Table café. Don’t forget to check out the Shop4Science (

The Science Museum of Virginia is located in Richmond at 2500West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220-2057. Free parking is available in the front of the museum.

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