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McLaughlin Planetarium

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McLaughlin Planetarium 1969

The McLaughlin Planetarium of the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada

The McLaughlin Planetarium opened to the public November 2, 1968. It took two years to build and cost $2,250,000. Among the largest and most modern planetariums in thw world, it was a gift to the Royal Ontario Museum for the people of Toronto and Ontario from R.S. McLaughlin of Oshawa, Ontario. Mr. McLaughlin, Chairman of the Board of General Motors of Canada, was a pioneer in the automobile industry.

The main feature of the Planetarium is the circular Star Theatre containing 361 special reclining seats. High above the audience is the immense dome. The inner surface of the dome, 75 feet in diameter, is like a huge movie screen. On it are projected all the wonders of the universe - the sun, moon, planets and thousands of stars, as well as comets, the Northern Lights and even the paths of spacecraft. All these attractions of the night sky are created with projectors. Most of the projectors (about 150 of them) are in the Zeiss Planetarium Instrument which stands like a robot in the centre of the Theatre. Other projectors are located in the cove running around the base of the dome. With such equipment, the star-filled sky can be shown as it appears from any place on earth and from out in space, for any time in the past, present or future.

The Planetarium also has an exhibit area containing 198 displays offering a stimulating introduction to astronomy and a preparation for the excitement of a Star Theatre show. Other features of the Planetarium include a comprehensive library, a lecture room, work shops and lens grinding facilities, and a sales desk stocked with publications for all ages.

Shows in the Star Theatre are changed several times a year. Each new show presents a different aspect of the universe beyond our earth. Visit the McLaughlin Planetarium often and see each show.

(The McLaughlin Planetarium was closed in November 1995.)

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