C Cleveland

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, at The North Coast Harbor, is The Great Lakes Science Center. This museum and educational goldmine opened in 1996 with 165,000 square feet of exhibit space. These exhibits show visitors how science and technology commingle with the environment and they do it in a simplistic and fun way.

Bridge of Fire - a static generator that generates 200,000 volts of electrical current.

Plasma ball

A number of the permanent exhibits focus on the natural environment of the Great Lakes region of the United States while the traveling exhibits bring more unique and one of a kind marvels.

Spare Parts for People exhibit

A 150-foot wind turbine was installed a few years back and educates the public on the merits of wind power. The museum estimates that it generates around 7 percent of the Center's electricity needs along with looking really cool.

Turbine with domed theater in the background

I'm most fascinated by the 79-foot diameter, 6-story tall, Omnimax Theater. Not to be confused with an Imax screen, which lies flat, the Omnimax features a domed screen which makes you feel like you're enveloped in the action on the screen. In fact, when you sit down in one of the upholstered, reclining seats, an overhead message announces that some people may be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the images on the screen and if so, should just look away for a moment.


A special 70mm film is used as opposed to the 35mm film that is standard in most theaters. This results in the most amazingly clear and vibrant image you have ever seen. The 4200 pound projector raises to an elevation of 18-feet from the floor and is a showpiece itself, allowing theater goers to watch the 4-foot take-up reels as they hold 20,200 feet of film, weighing 200 pounds.

Now what's a good picture without good sound? Well, for you audiophiles, here's what you'll get:

11,600 watts of audio power is delivered through 44 speakers in seven clusters. Six clusters of speakers each contain four 12-inch woofers, one mid-frequency horn and one high-frequency horn. The seventh cluster contains eight 18-inch sub woofers.

Each cluster is a "three-way speaker system" meaning sound is sent to three different types of speakers, depending on the frequency of sound. Sub-bass is a "fourth way." Sub-bass frequencies are pulled from all six audio channels and sent to the sub-bass speakers.


Oh, did I mention that I am one of those people who gets completely overwhelmed by the domed screen? I usually only see half a movie while the other half is spent staring at the guy's head in front of me.

Hey! It's a REALLY big screen, okay?

The Great Lakes Science Center has 400 hands-on exhibits, a restaurant, snack bar, meeting rooms and the Omnimax Theater so there's something for every age. It's a definite must for your next trip to Cleveland.

Just prepare to be overwhelmed.


  1. Chrissy
    I know I mentioned this before, but this is what you should be doing for your job. Magnifico!
    I will buy the tickets, you get the popcorn

  2. Looks like a fun place. Charlotte has an Omnimax theater as well. I have only seen one Movie there but it was amazing. It is at Discovery Place. The kids loved going up there for the exhibits. I loved going for the aquariums. Your building is much cooler than ours. Have a great weekend.

  3. I will need the spare parts for people exhibit eventually-ha ha

  4. We went back in Januray on it's "free day", it so jam packed we turned around a left after about 30 minutes.


  5. who knew? between you and f8hasit, I realize I need to spend my next vacation in Ohio, which happens to be my ancestral home. This place looks really cool.

  6. HOLY MACANONI!...that theater looks so freakin' COOL!

    I'm the same as you, I too get overwhelmed by a domed screen. A few of the rides in Disney have the same sorta thing and I ended up having to close my eyes because I felt like I was going flip out or something.


    Oh, I thought you today when my favorite customers from Cleveland came in the store today. They were visiting Philly for the weekend. They are a HOOT!

    Thanks again for sharing such an informative and interesting post, girl!

    Really enjoyed it!


  7. When I hit the big times, I'm building a dome theater so I can be enveloped in trashy cable news.


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