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Planetarium Shows Celebrate Laser's Birthday

Posted: August 30, 2010
The laser turns 50 years old this year. With the help of music by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Garth Brooks, and a host of others, the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium is hosting a celebratory series that is equal parts musical event, educational opportunity, and birthday party.

The planetarium's laser shows take place Wednesdays through Sundays during September.

“We’re going to be giving away free laser glasses,” said Kevin Williams, a planetary geologist who is an assistant professor of earth science and science education as well as director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium. “The glasses make you see several times as many lights lights and really enhance the experience.”

The month-long spectacular begins on Wednesday, September 1, at 7:30 p.m. with Laser Zeppelin, a laser show set to the music of Led Zeppelin. At 9:00 p.m., Laser Vinyl will feature classic rock by groups including AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Queen.

On September 11, at 3:30 p.m. and again at 5:00 p.m., the planetarium will feature Laser Spirit, featuring inspirational music. These two shows will be free for members of the United States Armed Forces.

Tickets are $10 for each show with a reduced rate of $5 for SUNY students with ID, children 12 and under, and seniors 65 and older. On the weekends, the planetarium will also offer special laser educational shows combined with a music show. Reservations are recommended but not required.

To reserve your tickets, call the planetarium at (716) 878-4911 and leave a message with your last name and the number of tickets. Unclaimed reserved tickets will be released 15 minutes before the show starts.

The first week’s schedule is:

Wednesday, September 1
7:30 p.m.: Laser Zeppelin

9:00 p.m.: Laser Vinyl, a classic rock experience featuring artists such as Aerosmith, Queen, and AC/DC.

Thursday, September 2

7:30 p.m.: Laser Retro, with songs from Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and the Police.

9:00 p.m.: Pink Floyd’s The Wall (uncensored)

Friday, September 3

7:00 p.m.: Laser X, featuring alternative music by artists such as Foo Fighters, Rage against the Machine, and Smashing Pumpkins.

8:30 p.m.: Pink Floyd’s The Wall (uncensored)

10:00 p.m.: Laser Zeppelin

Saturday, September 4

Saturday, September 4
11:00 a.m.: Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus and Andromeda, followed by Laser Pop, featuring music from the Beach Boys, ‘N Sync, and the Beatles.

12:30 p.m.: Legends of the Night Sky: Orion, followed by Laser Beatles, including such timeless hits as "Yesterday” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

2:00 p.m.: Pink Floyd’s The Wall (family version)

7:00 p.m.: Lasermania, featuring a time warp medley with hits ranging from “Satisfaction” to “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”

8:30 p.m.: Pink Floyd’s The Wall (uncensored)

10:00 p.m.: Laser U2

Sunday, September 5
11:00 a.m. Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus and Andromeda, followed by Laser Pop.

12:30 p.m.: Legends of the Night Sky: Orion, followed by Laser Beatles.

2:00 p.m.: Pink Floyd’s The Wall (family version)

Download the complete show schedule (PDF, 323KB)
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