Aquarium of the Pacific to open new immersive theater


Eunice Barron

The Honda Pacific Vision Theatre offers a 3D virtual reality experience. The new theatre opened to the public on May 24.

Eunice Barron

The Aquarium of the Pacific will soon open the Honda Pacific Visions Theater on Friday, May 24 to the public that will include a platform to integrate the arts and sciences.

The $53 million project is the aquarium’s first major expansion since its founding in 1998.

Pacific Visions hopes that guests will explore and experience a range of possible trajectories for the planet and most importantly to understand the environmental issues that are taking place in today’s world.

All of the featured programs will tackle issues such as climate change, extreme weather, sea level rise, water shortages and the plans to create a potential food supply to feed an additional 2.5 billion people by farming the land and sea.

This project also hopes to spread a message by suggesting alternative pathways to a “sustainable future.”

“Pacific Visions is the culmination of more than a decade of planning. It will challenge our visitors to examine human impact on our ocean planet and engage in the choices that will reduce that impact,” said Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president and CEO.

The content of the theater is developed by the Aquarium and Cortina Productions in partnership with scientists, filmmakers, storytellers and digital artist.

The 15-minute inaugural film presents stunning high-resolution imagery with a variety of special effects that will present facts and information to the audience about the issues that are currently affecting our planet.

The film airs four times each hour, for which visitors can have the option to choose which show time they would like to attend.

These resources will be further explored when visitors will enter the new building.

One fact about the Pacific Visions building is that it is designed as a biomorphic structure that evokes “the size, depth, variability, luminosity and biological diversity of the Pacific Ocean.”

The two-story, 300-seat theater will include a 32-foot tall, 130-foot long, 180-degree arc digital projection wall and a 30-foot-diameter floor projection disc to visitors in a virtual ocean environment.

According to the aquarium, this project is the second and final phase of a Campus Master Plan adopted by the Board of Directors in 2005.

“The plan’s aim is to enhance the institution’s role as a community gathering place where scientists, policymakers and the public can celebrate the inhabitants and ecosystems of the Pacific Ocean and explore today’s most important environmental issues,” says a statement by the aquarium’s Board of Directors.

There will be no additional charge to enter the Pacific Visions building for which it is directly part of the aquarium.

Pacific Visions hopes to offer an experience and to inform the audience about the current environmental issues we are all living today.