St. Paul, Minn.—From March 3 through May 4, the Science Museum of Minnesota’s William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater will host one of its most popular traditions. Omnifest 2017, the Omnitheater’s annual giant screen film festival, will feature five films running in rotation on its 90-foot domed screen. With topics ranging from mountain climbing to modern-day Egypt to space travel to shark ecology, the festival offers something for all ages and interests, making Omnifest an ideal family destination during this year’s spring break season.
Included in this year’s festival is Everest, one of the most popular giant screen films in Omnitheater history, along with Mystery of the Nile, A Beautiful Planet, the Science Museum’s own Search for the Great Sharks, and To the Arctic, which is new to the Omnitheater for Omnifest.
Perhaps the most acclaimed giant screen film in history, Everest takes viewers on a breathtaking trip to the summit during an ill-fated 1996 expedition. Viewers will learn how the mountain was formed and continues to evolve, how high altitude challenges a climber’s physical and mental capabilities, and how Sherpa culture and tradition permeate the Mount Everest experience. But Everest is also a rich, dramatic story about the relationship between a group of daring human beings and the mountain they love, respect, and sometimes fear.
NEW to the Omnitheater! To the Arctic
To the Arctic takes Omnitheater viewers on an extraordinary journey to the top of the world, where they will experience the ultimate survival tale of a mother polar bear and her two seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home. Viewers will get an up-close glimpse at this family’s struggle in a frigid environment of melting ice, immense glaciers, spectacular waterfalls, and majestic snow-bound peaks.
Mystery of the Nile
In 2004, Pasquale Scaturro and Gordon Brown became the first in history to conquer all 3,260 miles of the world’s greatest river in a single descent from its source in the Ethiopian highlands to the Mediterranean Sea. Their story comes to life on the Omnitheater’s giant domed screen in Mystery of the Nile. Viewers will ride shotgun on the team’s 16-foot rafts as they crash through the rapids in Ethiopia’s desert canyons. They will feel the intense heat as they traverse the desert plains of Sudan on their way to Khartoum where the Blue Nile merges with the White Nile to form the Nile proper. They will come face to face with deadly crocodiles and hippos, see the view atop Tissisat Falls in Ethiopia, and feel the chilling suspense as Scaturro and Brown make the perilous crossing of Egypt’s windy Lake Nasser.
Search for the Great Sharks
In this Science Museum of Minnesota original production, Omnitheater viewers will embark on a global expedition in search of a better understanding of some of the world’s most mysterious predators. Search for the Great Sharks will bring viewers up close to blue sharks, whale sharks, and the notorious great white shark to experience the magnificence and strength of these frightening and powerful animals.
A Beautiful Planet
A Beautiful Planet, an IMAX film produced in cooperation with NASA, features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet that was captured by the astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS). From space, Earth blazes at night with the electric intensity of human expansion—a direct visualization of our changing world. Startling representations of such change—the deforestation in places like Madagascar and the Amazon, the nighttime scene of fracking fires in the Gulf of Mexico, and the glacial melting in Greenland—are all visible from the ISS. But it is within our power to protect the planet. A Beautiful Planet shows us that, as we continue to explore and gain knowledge of our galaxy, we also develop a deeper connection to the place we call home.
Omnifest’s five films will run in rotation during regular museum hours. Find a complete schedule at smm.org/omnifest. Tickets are $9.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors. Subsequent same-day films are 15% off of the original price. Science Museum members receive free tickets for one Omnitheater film per day for each person covered under the membership.
As with all Omnitheater showings, advance reservations are strongly recommended and are available by visiting smm.org or calling (651) 221-9444.
The Science Museum of Minnesota is the region’s leading museum attraction. Its William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater, which features a nine-story domed screen and a state-of-the-art sound system, is one of only four convertible dome theaters in the world. The museum is located at 120 West Kellogg Boulevard in downtown St. Paul, on the banks of the Mississippi River. For museum hours, directions, and visit information, visitors can call (651) 221-9444 or visit smm.org.