Christie and Evans & Sutherland dazzle audiences, engage students, at refurbished Ohio planetarium

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Digital Cinema

Closed from 2004 to 2014, the reopened Center of Science and Industry (COSI) planetarium in Columbus, Ohio, is drawing over 100,000 visitors annually, thanks to the efforts of the Columbus community, the COSI Team, and two leading-edge cinema technology companies, Evans & Sutherland and Christie. The state-of-the-art planetarium installed Evans & Sutherland’s Digistar 5 system and two Christie®D4K2560 projectors to simulate intergalactic journeys and visualize the latest scientific discoveries.

“Upgrading to the Digistar 5 system with the Christie projectors was huge for us,”
says Kate Storm, director of theaters, COSI. “This system does everything we ever wanted a planetarium to do or wished it could do.” The immersive experience employs wireframe models as well as fully rendered images, increasing the level of engagement.

“With the Christie projectors, and the Digistar 5, you can get into great detail and we have ‘wow’ moments where we leave the Earth and audiences see the big blue marble of the planet,” says Storm. “We can now fly out to the stars and planets and where things are in the universe. The projectors are amazing.”

And because of the Christie projectors and Digistar 5’s flexibility, the planetarium features a “Science Now” component where new discoveries, such as gravitational waves, can be shown within hours instead of weeks.

“The technology in the planetarium allows us to create and develop unique content,” says Storm. “We created a custom show meeting Ohio’s learning standards for fifth graders in Columbus city schools during specially designed field trips. The feedback was incredible. Teachers and administrators told us the students could visualize and explain the concepts when they returned to school.”

Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc., a global visual and audio technologies company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan. The company is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world.