Danville Science Center and the city of Danville will hold a groundbreaking for the Digital Dome Theater at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Combining high-definition video, color star projection and digital surround sound, the 44-foot dome theater will immerse up to 100 guests in environmental science and astronomy, enrich programming and enhance the Science Center’s ability to provide fun learning spaces for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Through close collaboration with the city of Danville, we are very happy to have successfully completed the state review process and are excited to launch the construction phase of this project for our community,” said Jeff Liverman, executive director of the Science Center. “The Digital Dome experience is powerfully immersive, putting visitors within the action of a movie or flying out to distant stars and planets.”
Del. Danny Marshall, who was instrumental in working with the Virginia General Assembly to fund the project, called the dome theater a great addition for the Science Center and the region. “This theater will bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning alive for Danville’s students, teachers and parents.”
The dome is a partnership between the Danville Science Center, City of Danville and Danville Regional Foundation with additional funding from an anonymous donor.
Karl Stauber, president and chief executive of the Danville Regional Foundation, said the dome theater provides a major boost to the River District, not only with regard to education benefits, but also in terms of economic development and tourism.
“Over the past several years, Danville has witnessed a visible revitalization in its downtown area, including the addition of living spaces and demolition of the former Downtowner Motor Lodge,” Stauber said. “Fast forward a year from now, the community will have in operation both the large format theater at the Danville Science Center and the new Danville Family YMCA, helping to reconnect us to the Dan River.”
The Science Center selected J.G. Coram Co. as the general contractor following a competitive bid process.
The Science Center is located at 677 Craghead St. Its hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.