(OKLAHOMA CITY) – Science Museum Oklahoma’s planetarium will temporarily close after the last shows on April 21, with plans for the new, state-of-the-art Love’s Planetarium set to open in early fall. The Love’s Planetarium will utilize some of the best technology available in the world, with only one other with similar capabilities, located in Shanghai, China.

The planetarium has been a cornerstone of Science Museum Oklahoma, captivating visitors with stunning displays and educational and live programs since its inception in 1958. Its closure in April marks the beginning of a transformation to a fully hybrid system, combining optical and digital projectors, high-intensity LEDs and fiber optic equipment. This new technology provides striking detail and high-resolution images of a realistic Milky Way, including 8 million detailed stars, 88 constellations, the sun, moon and planets. Audiences will have views of the presentation from seats individually calibrated for optimum viewing.

“Our museum roots are as a planetarium,” said Sherry Marshall, John E. Kirkpatrick President/CEO. “We intend to continue and grow the incredible vision of our founder, Admiral John Elson Kirkpatrick, and improve the planetarium for our visitors to enjoy for the next 60-plus years. We are incredibly grateful for the support and enthusiasm that updating the planetarium has received from all of our community. We are excited to bring Love’s on as a partner to continue to spark an interest in space exploration and science with a new level of technology and real-time, interactive educational opportunities from across the universe.”

Though the last public planetarium shows in the current location take place on April 21, during the transition period, Science Museum Oklahoma will offer a series of special laser light shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from May 9 to June 15 in the planetarium to celebrate its legacy. Multiple showtimes are available for each night and include spectacular laser art set to popular music from Pink Floyd, Taylor Swift, Grateful Dead, Elton John, Queen, The Beatles and more.

“Laser light shows and planetariums have gone hand in hand throughout history,” said Marshall. “This will provide a unique “throwback” opportunity for visitors to experience the planetarium in a new light before the unveiling of the new Love’s Planetarium and surrounding gallery later this fall.”

For more information about the planetarium or Science Museum Oklahoma, visit www.smo.org.