- At The Fleet
The Discoverers [IMAX]Feel the Courage. Live the Adventure.This film will show as part of Senior Monday on Monday, Dec. 2, only. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Daniel J. Boorstin, this stunning film relives some of mankind's greatest moments of discovery, including Magellan's expedition to find the...
Back for a limited run in December 2013! Encounter the wilds of California as you sky surf over San Diego at 150mph, ride down a 25-foot wave at Maverick’s, snowboard the Sierra’s highest peaks and drop 130 feet into the center of a giant Sequoia! From...
What you can't see is right before your eyes!Mysteries of the Unseen World provides you with an incredible look at things that are normally too slow, too fast, too small or too vast for the human eye to see. The film's innovative use of high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy and...
Deep Sea [IMAX]Sea Life in a Whole New WayDirected by San Diego resident and world-renowned underwater cinematographer Howard Hall, DEEP SEA will transport audiences deep below the ocean surface to swim with some of the most exotic creatures on the planet, from the bizarre Rainbow Nudibranch to...
Technology Takes OffExplore aerodynamics and flight technology in the Fleet’s newest exhibition, On the Fly: Technology Takes Off. The exhibition features multiple daily performances by small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), complemented by interactive stations where...
The Instrument That Rocked the WorldStarting December 20th, the Fleet Science Center will ROCK you! The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is cranking science up to 11 this winter with the West Coast premiere of GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World! Experience the guitar through...
Get Your Hands On ScienceOur Main Gallery exhibition combines some of our all-time favorites with exciting interactive exhibits from San Francisco’s Exploratorium. This collection features opportunities to explore mechanics, motion, math, hearing, electricity and many other...
Celebrate the Season at the FleetBalboa Park December Nights is the largest free community festival in San Diego. Come to Balboa Park and celebrate the holidays with lights, food, music and fun. The two-day extravaganza, Balboa Park's holiday gift to San Diego, features international...
A Live Concert Series Celebrating GUITARThe Fleet is ready to ROCK with our first-ever live concert series! Each show will feature: Two performances: an awesome opening act and a rockin' headliner Food for purchase from The French Gourmet Beer, wine and cocktails available at the no-...
An Early Morning Comet ISON CelebrationCOFFEE & COMETS is an early morning celebration for Comet ISON on Tuesday, November 26, at 5:30AM! This event has reached its registration capacity. SIGN UP FOR THE WAITLIST HERE Comet ISON has raised a lot of hope among skywatchers. The comet is...
The First Monday of Each MonthThe first Monday of every month, seniors 65 and better can enjoy the Science Center exhibits, a show in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater and a lecture on the quietest day of the month for only $8! No coupons or additional discounts are accepted. The Fleet'...
The Science of ROCKOur next Science on the Rocks party is Thursday, January 23: The Science of ROCK! Our most recent party was on October 17. Look for pictures on our Science on the Rocks Facebook page soon. Didn't make it? Here's what you missed: Fall in love with...
Fleet volunteers and interns come from all different backgrounds, each with their own unique skills and expertise. What they have in common is their curiosity, love of learning, enthusiasm, and dedication to creating an excellent guest experience. In...
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Al Columbo Reports on His IMAX Experience, Part I
Part I: In the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater
The gigantic dome screen was aflutter with enormous butterflies, 15-feet across, by the time I settled into the theater. It had been more than 25 years since I had been there. I thought I knew my way around, but I was guided to a seat straight in from the door as I was arriving late.
“Dad, is the movie over?” I heard a young voice in the seat next to me.
“No, son, that was just a preview,” his father said.
As my eyes adjusted to the dark I could see a toddler and his father sitting next to me in the mostly empty theater. The thought crossed my mind that it was odd for me to sit next to a kid that I didn’t know, but I was quickly distracted by the splendor on the screen.
The Reuben H. Fleet was one of my favorite places to go to when I was a young boy in the 1970s. I remember marveling at the exhibits and thinking that the theater was mesmerizing; it still is. I just happened to get a free offer to revisit the Fleet so I took it. After a tour of the IMAX projector in the basement, I was ushered in to see the new movie Rocky Mountain Express. I had seen the commercials and I was excited to see it. The movie is about the construction of the train system in western Canada. I am a bit of a history buff and am very interested in how things were built.
The movie is full of many amazing shots, breathtaking and spellbinding vistas of the staggering heights and deep valleys of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The documentary follows the construction of the railroad and the men who built it.
The little boy sitting next to me asked his dad a lot of questions. I didn't mind because I was so into the movie.
“Is that where Grandma lives?” the boy asked.
“No, son,” his dad replied.
“Did that guy die?” The boy asked.
“Yes, now be quiet and just watch,” the man said. “Ask me questions after the movie.”
The Giant Dome screen makes every scene look amazing. I really liked the sweeping shot; racing a train along the edge of a cliff.
“How did they do that dad?" the boy asked his father.
“Shhhhhh,” the man responded.
But the kid asked what I was wondering too. It looked too real to be animation, but too dangerously close to be a helicopter. Maybe the camera was mounted on a drone. They can go everywhere.
By the time the movie was over I realized the kid next to me hadn't spoken for quite a while. The film had silenced him. He fell asleep and his dad had to wake him up. I thought that was kind of cute. I know that making the child understand what the movie was about was not important. What was important was that the father and son had created a happy memory, something that money cannot buy.