Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center of Mobile,AL

Current Films

A Beautiful Planet is now playing (Film showtimes are 12pm, 1pm, 3pm, and 4pm. Times subject to change due to large group bookings, summer camps, special events, etc. Please call 1-251-208-6893 prior to your visit to confirm film showtimes.)

A Beautiful Planet is a breathtaking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before. Made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the film features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet — and the effects humanity has had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard 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. But it is within our power to protect the planet. As we continue to explore and gain knowledge of our galaxy, we also develop a deeper connection to the place we all call home. From IMAX Entertainment and Toni Myers — the acclaimed filmmaker behind celebrated IMAX® documentaries Blue Planet, Hubble 3D, and Space Station 3D — A Beautiful Planet presents an awe-inspiring glimpse of Earth and a hopeful look into the future of humanity.  View the official trailer for A Beautiful Planet here.

Summer Film Series also kicks off on Saturday, May 27, 2017 (Film showtimes are 11am and 2pm. Times subject to change due to large group bookings, summer camps, special events, etc. Please call 1-251-208-6893 prior to your visit to confirm film showtimes.)

These films will run as the secondary film to A Beautiful Planet all summer long, offering a variety of IMAX film choices, ranging from classic favorites to some of our more recent hits. Below is the schedule of which films will run on each week.

May 29th-June 4th– Space Junk (View trailer here)

50 years after launching our dreams into space, we’re left with a troubling legacy: a growing ring of orbiting debris that threatens the safety of earth’s orbits. SPACE JUNK is a visually explosive journey of discovery that weighs the solutions aimed at restoring our planet’s orbits.

Experience mind-boggling collisions, both natural and man-made. Soar for the stunning depths of Meteor Crater to an unprecedented view of our increasingly crowded orbits – 22,000 miles above earth. Join us as foremost expert Don Kessler, the “Father of Space Junk,” guides us through the challenges we face in protecting them, forging a new age of space discovery.

June 5th-11th– Madagascar: Island of Lemurs (View trailer here)

Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, Dolphin Tale) narrates the IMAX® 3D documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, the incredible true story of nature’s greatest explorers—lemurs. The film reunites Freeman with Drew Fellman, who also wrote and produced the 2011 IMAX 3D documentary Born to Be Wild 3D, and director David Douglas, who served as director of photography on that film.

Captured with IMAX® 3D cameras, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar. Lemurs arrived in Madagascar as castaways millions of years ago and evolved into hundreds of diverse species but are now highly endangered.

Join trailblazing scientist Dr. Patricia Wright on her lifelong mission to help these strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world.

A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Entertainment.

June 12th-18th– Mysteries of the Unseen World (View trailer here)

Mysteries of the Unseen World reveals phenomena that can’t be seen with the naked eye, taking audiences into earthly worlds secreted away in different dimensions of time and scale.

Experience events that unfold too slowly for human perception; “see” the beauty, drama, and even humor of phenomena that occur in the flash of a microsecond; enter a microscopic world once reserved for scientists, but now made accessible to the rest of us; and begin to understand that what we actually see is only a fraction of what there is to see on Earth. High-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology are just a few of the advancements in science that allow us to see a universe of things, events, creatures, and processes we never even knew existed. These technologies give us new “superpowers” to see beyond what’s in front of us.

Visually stunning and rooted in cutting-edge research, Mysteries of the Unseen World will leave audiences in thrall as they begin to understand the enormity of the world they can’t see—a world that exists in the air they breathe, on their bodies, and in all of the events that occur around them minute by minute and nanosecond by nanosecond. And with this understanding comes a new appreciation of the wonder and possibilities of science.

June 19th-25th– Hubble (View trailer here)

Through the power of IMAX®, Hubble will enable movie-goers to journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings, and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult and important tasks in NASA’s history. The film will offer an inspiring and unique look into the Hubble Space Telescope’s legacy and highlight its profound impact on the way we view the universe and ourselves. Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, Hubble reunites the Space Station filmmaking team, led by Producer/Director Toni Myers. James Neihouse, Director of Photography, also doubles as the Astronaut crew trainer. Judy Carroll is Associate Producer, and Graeme Ferguson, Co-founder of IMAX and pioneer Producer of many IMAX space films, is Executive Producer. Hubble is an IMAX and Warner Bros. Pictures production, in cooperation with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

June 26th-July 2nd– Wild Africa

July 3rd-9th– Tornado Alley (View trailer here)

Join Storm Chasers star Sean Casey and the researchers of VORTEX 2, the most ambitious effort ever made to understand the origins and evolution of tornadoes, on this heart-pounding science adventure. Armed with a 70mm camera, a fleet of customized vehicles designed to withstand gale force winds, torrential rains and unrelenting hail, and an arsenal of the most advanced weather measurement instruments ever created, the stars of Tornado Alley take audiences on a thrilling quest to experience a tornado’s destructive power at point blank range. Experience the adrenaline and the science of nature’s most dramatic phenomena!

Traversing the “severe weather capital of the world,” Tornado Alley documents two unprecedented missions seeking to encounter one of Earth’s most awe-inspiring events—the birth of a tornado. Filmmaker Sean Casey’s personal quest to capture the birth of a tornado with a 70mm camera takes viewers on a breathtaking journey into the heart of the storm. A team of equally driven scientists, the VORTEX2 researchers, experience the relentless strength of nature’s elemental forces as they literally surround tornadoes and the supercell storms that form them, gathering the most comprehensive severe weather data ever collected. This science adventure reveals the beauty and the power of some of our planet’s most extreme—and least understood—weather phenomena.

July 10th-16th– Wired to Win (View trailer here)

Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France takes viewers on a spellbinding ride, seamlessly melding state-of-the-art computer animation of the human brain with the first-ever giant screen film footage of the legendary Tour de France. This unprecedented giant screen film experience brings together the excitement of world-class sport and the frontiers of science, inspiring and entertaining audiences around the world. The Tour de France – a grueling 3-week battle where elite athletes risk it all in pursuit of victory, fame and, in some rare cases, a place in the annals of cycling history. The stage for this event? The spectacular landscape of France- the towering mountains of the Alps, the broad urban avenues of Paris, and the knotted villages of Provence.

July 17th-23rd– Dinosaurs Alive (View trailer here)

Narrated by Michael Douglas

Dinosaurs Alive is a global adventure of science and discovery – featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous “reincarnated” life-sized for the giant IMAX ® screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world’s preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendants of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. Through the magic of scientifically accurate computer-generated animation, these newly discovered creatures, and some familiar favorites will come alive…in a big way!

July 24th-30th– Born to be Wild (View trailer here)

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, “Born to be Wild” transports moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan Savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dr. Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild. David Lickley (“Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees”) directed this heartwarming film which documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them-saving endangered species one life at a time.

July 31st-August 6th– Great White Sharks (View trailer here)

Misrepresented, maligned and misunderstood, the great white shark is an iconic predator: the creature we love to fear. Get closer than ever to the “king of the ocean” in this giant screen adventure and discover why this animal is not the menacing villain many believe it to be.

August 7th-13th– Jerusalem (View trailer here)

JERUSALEM takes audiences on an inspiring and eye-opening tour of one of the world’s oldest and most enigmatic cities. Destroyed and rebuilt countless times over 5,000 years, Jerusalem’s enduring appeal remains a mystery. What made it so important to so many different cultures? How did it become the center of the world for three major religions? Why does it still matter to us?

JERUSALEM attempts to answer these questions by following three young Jerusalemites and their families – Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Through their eyes, audiences will learn what it means to call Jerusalem home and experience celebrations and events that mark the high points of a year in the life of the city. JERUSALEM will also follow noted archaeologist, Dr. Jodi Magness, as she explores some of the most extraordinary historical sites in the region in order to better understand how this region became a true crossroads of civilization.

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock,” “12 Years a Slave”), JERUSALEM gives audiences a completely unique perspective of a part of the world that still captivates the imagination of billions of people.

August 14th– 20th– Wild Africa (View trailer here)

From BBC Earth. Come with us on a spectacular ride across, over, and through the magical realms of the most dramatic continent on earth: Africa. Our guide through this enchanted kingdom is the sorcerer itself – water. Water crafts wild Africa, conjuring up life wherever it journeys… travelling above the plains on seasonal winds, cascading along raging rivers or sheltering coral cities. Audiences will be plunged into fantastic places and meet amazing creatures. On the journey through the magical realms of Africa, we’ll discover the fascinating secrets of this enchanted kingdom. How spectacular thermal geysers help turn thousands of flamingos pink, and create the perfect conditions for them to breed; why the heat beating down on waterless dunes in the Namib Desert forces a lizard to dance; and why it snows on the equator. It’s an adventure where you will truly believe the real world is more extraordinary and awe-inspiring than any fiction.

August 21st– 27th– Greece (View trailer here)

The magic of ancient Greek civilization comes to life in the IMAX film GREECE: SECRETS OF THE PAST. Experience ancient volcanoes on a sweeping archeological journey back in time. Narrated by Nia Vardalos. Presented By Alex G. Spanos In Association With Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Museum Film Network; Major Funding Provided By MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation and National Science Foundation.

August 28th-Sept. 3rd– Everest (View trailer here)

Narrated by Irish actor Liam Neeson and was filmed entirely in IMAX format. It includes a description of the training required in order to climb the 29,029 feet to the summit of Mount Everest and the challenges faced during the ascent, such as avalanches, blizzards, and oxygen deprivation. The film centers on a team led by Ed Viesturs and Everest director David Breashears; among their number are Spanish climber Araceli Segarra, and Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of the pioneering Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay.

 

 

 

The J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater

 

IMAX Dome Theater

Climb to the summit of the world’s highest mountain ranges, travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs, go boldly where no man has gone before, all from your seat in the J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater.

 

IMAX is derived from the phrase “maximum image.” Through state-of-the-art IMAX technology, moviegoers are granted a unique perspective as larger-than-life images sweep above and around the 177 seats.

 

While the majority of IMAX theaters have huge, flat screens that more closely resemble commercial (35) mm screens, the 60-foot domed screen in the J.L. Bedsole Theater — the only domed screen on the Gulf Coast — wraps around the audience, immersing them in the center of the action.

 

The theater is lined with acoustic deadening material so that the only sound the audience hears comes from an array of digital speakers behind the domed screen.

 

The huge IMAX projector is operated in the glassed lobby area beneath the theater, visible from the lobby of the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. The film is loaded and then the projector is raised by elevator into a compact “doghouse” in the middle of the theater’s seating area.

 


The Dome

The domed screen is made of perforated aluminum panels and is approximately 60 feet in diameter. The panels are perforated so the speakers and air conditioning can be mounted behind the screen.

 


 

The Film

IMAX projection systems use the largest film frame in motion picture history, the 70 mm 15 perforation format, which is 10 times larger than conventional 35 mm film.

 

The IMAX film format is roughly the size of a card from a deck of playing cards. In comparison, standard 35 mm motion picture film has only four perforations per frame and is roughly the size of a postage stamp.

 

An average IMAX movie runs 45- 50 minutes and the reel of film is nearly 3 miles in length. The film travels through the projector at a rate of 5 1/2 feet per second.

 

The film advances through the projector horizontally in a wave-like action referred to as a “Rolling Loop” film movement. An Academy award-winning breakthrough in cinematography, it is the key to superior picture sharpness and steadiness.

 

The film reels, called platters, can be seen from the theater lobby. It takes one reel to feed the film into the projector, one to retrieve the film and a third for upcoming movie trailers. Platters are 52′ in diameter — the size of a truck tire.

 


 

The Projector

The IMAX projector is more than 6 feet tall and weighs more than 2200 pounds.

 

IMAX developed a “rolling loop” system that uses air to advance the film past the projection lens without tearing the film. The film moves horizontally in a wave-like action similar to the motion that an inchworm uses to move along a sidewalk.

 

An Academy award-winning breakthrough in cinematography, the “rolling loop” method is the key to superior picture sharpness and steadiness.

 


 

The Light

The light is mounted on the top of the projector and supplies the illumination for the film image. It is a 15,000-watt xenon arc lamp that is 18.5 inches long and 4.5 inches in diameter. This light, if positioned properly, could be seen from the surface of the moon. It has a brighter intensity than the sun as viewed from the Earth.

 

Because the bulb can reach 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, an elaborate cooling system must move water and air around it whenever the projector is operating. Projectionists changing a lamp must wear ballistic safety gear in case the extremely high-pressure cooling system explodes.

 

Each lamp costs $6500 and lasts about three months.

 


 

 

The Sound
The sound system is designed and built in Birmingham, Ala., by Sonics Associates, a company that produces sound systems for IMAX theaters worldwide. The IMAX/Sonics sound system uses 44 speakers, including 6 clusters of 6 speakers each, plus 8 sub-bass speakers.

 

The J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater’s sound system was the first DVD-based digital sound system installed in a theater. It is capable of producing 12,000 watts of undistorted sound. This allows the audience to be surrounded with crystal clear sound.

 

You would have to line up 140 100-watt boom boxes to equal the power of the IMAX DVD audio system.

 


 

The Seating

There is not a bad seat in the house. There are 177 specially designed seats in the theater. Each row of seats reclines at a different angle so that each viewer’s focus is aimed at the center of the domed screen.