Posts Tagged ‘Lewis and Clark’

Infantry Museum IMAX Drops Hollywood Feature Films … for Now

September 11, 2009


Joe Kleinman, Director of Attractions and IMAX Programming for the National Infantry Museum,  says the Hollywood feature films are not gone forever. In fact, he is working on a deal to play one during the  Christmas season. But, for now, the huge screen will only be playing documentaries. 

Joe Kleinman, Director of Attractions and IMAX Programming, National Infantry Museum , Columbus, GA

Joe Kleinman, Director of Attractions and IMAX Programming, National Infantry Museum , Columbus, GA

This is not unusual for a museum IMAX, he told me. The big Hollywood pictures are quite expensive, even when they are second run like those that have played at the Columbus IMAX.  Even if the museum wanted to play first-run  features, it couldn’t.  He said, “The film distributors don’t want a first-run movie to be competing against itself.”   He said the studios don’t won’t the same film running in two theaters that are less than five miles apart. Fort Benning’s Wynnsong multiplex, which is operated by Carmike Cinemas,  is closer than 5 miles away.  Also, Kleinman says the Columbus IMAX doesn’t want to tie up the theater all day to run the same feature film, which it would have to do with first-run movies.  It wants to be able to show the documentaries that are shot in the IMAX format.

Frankly, says, Kleinman, the documentaries have been making more money than the Hollywood features  for the museum.  The museum gets a better deal on them. As an example, he said the 50-minute 3-D NASCAR documentary pulled larger audiences than the Startrek movie when they recently ran.   

I pointed out that when I went to the IMAX at the naval air museum at Pensacola, it wasn’t playing any feature films. It featured an IMAX-shot documentary about the famous Blue Angels fighter jet demonstration squadron stationed at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.  Kleinman said an IMAX documentary on the U.S. Army Infantry is in the planning stage.   

The two docs now playing are Coral Reef Adventure and Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West.   I saw the Lewis and Clark one at a Florida IMAX a few years ago. It is well-suited for the huge IMAX screen.  I’ll probably go see it again.



November 26, 2008

  Among the seven books that different friends and family gave me for my birthday – they have rightly guessed that I like a good book, or either they are getting even with me for giving them books for their birthdays – is David McCullough’s Brave Companions: Portraits in History.  This book brings home the fact that there are a lot of important, interesting people that I don’t know about, and I have read a lot of history and taken a number of history courses.


Baron Alexander von Humboldt, German naturalist, painted by Joseph Stieler, 1843 (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

  Ever heard of Baron Alexander von Humboldt, the great German naturalist, scientist and explorer? Who? Well, I hadn’t either until I read the opening chapter in McCullough’s book. I guess we really don’t have to feel bad about it because McCullough says, “It is doubtful that one educated American in ten could say exactly who Humbolt was or what he did.” I’ll bet it’s not more than one in one hundred. However, it’s probably close to ten out of ten who have heard of the great American explorers Lewis and Clark. That’s because Lewis and Clark’s travels were in the United States, but Humboldt’s were in Spanish America. However, Humbolt’s travels were of far greater scientific consequence, and were just as dramatically adventurous.

  That adventure started in 1799 when he and a French medical doctor turned botanist, Amie Bonpland, set out to explore Spain’s American colonies, where they would make maps, astronomical observations, and collect specimins for scientific study. When they returned to Europe their stories were a sensation and Humbolt became celebrated the world over, inspiring people like Simon Bolivar, John James Audubon, and Charles Darwin, who, during the voyage of the Beagle, carried three book to inspire him,  The Bible,  Milton, and Humbolt. President Thomas Jefferson invited him to the White House where he stayed for several weeks so that that they could talk about Humbolt’s travels and discoveries. Jefferson said, “I consider him the most important scientist whom I have met.”  So this was quite a guy, one who made a lasting contribution to science and understanding nature and the environment. But, I’d never heard of him until now. 

  Now, I continue my advernture of discovery about important people in Brave Companions as I move on to Chapter Two, where I will learn about the American Adventure of Louis Agassiz.  Who? Well, I’ll tell you after I learn.

Baron Alexander von Humboldt, self-portait, 1814  Since the camera hadn't been invented, it was handy for an explorer to be able to sketch. He could.

Baron Alexander von Humboldt, self-portrait, 1814 (Courtesy: Wikipedia) Since the camera hadn't been invented yet, being able to sketch was essential for an explorer.