1121Re: The Planetarium Identity Crisis
- Sep 22, 2006
>Mark P. commented on Mark M.'s thoughts:Perhaps a little understandable 'wishful thinking' on Mark M's
>> * the bit about a digital dome theater *always* designed with a
>> tilt (I'd wuss out with "almost always"), and
>Yeah, 'cuz the Hayden Planetarium would then not be a fulldome
>theater, nor would the Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and
>Space Museum. Hmmm.
part...:-)? The role of the tilt in show potential has been discussed
in the past, and aside from a few 'flat' domes out there, an
anachronism generally imposed by someone's whims at a critical point
in the design, many people in the field see the utility of allowing a
look 'down' into a simulated view.
I think Mark Matthews makes a worthy point here:
'I always differentiate between a Planetarium and a Digital Dome. They are
very different theatres.'
I have the impression that the role of these facilities rests in the
hands of a very few people. A domed facility is generally what its
Director says it is, if they want to be nothing more than a
traditional Planetarium so be it. This is more important than the
details of the theater configuration.
What is expected of a domed facility can be influenced by what it is
called. For this reason I favor abandoning the term 'Planetarium' for
digital domed theaters as a limiting term describing but a subset of
what can be presented. The word 'Planetarium' has the tradition and
the baggage of decades of educational emphasis which invokes a fairly
specific idea of what to expect in such shows. This is the 'box' many
a facility capable of doing more beyond mandated educational
programming work within to this day. When people who think within the
traditional Planetarium 'box' make decisions to build new digital
domed theaters with a flat dome they are stunting the potential of
that theater for all time. All things considered, I would rather have
a domed theater emulating a Planetarium when desired than try to work
with a traditional design Planetarium trying to match versatile
visual environment of a dedicated tilted dome theater.
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