The Orlando Science Center has formed a partnership with National Geographic Cinema Ventures that's tied to the museum's newly renovated theater. In the near future, that space will be known as the Digital Adventure Theater, A National Geographic Experience.
“It’s almost like getting the National Geographic seal of approval," says Jeff Stanford, spokesman for the science center. "Their name stands for education, discovery, exploration, quality.”
“They’re being very selective about the museums they align with,” he says. "They are working very hard to make sure they are partnerships that are solid, that are win-wins.” The Geographic goal is to partner up with 2o to 25 institutions, Stanford says.
Orlando's location in the Southeast is attractive to National Geographic, Stanford says.
“Orlando is such a prime destination," he says. "They wanted to plant a flag in Orlando. We are happy to wave that flag for them. I think it is a tremendous vote of confidence for the Orlando Science Center.”
National Geographic films will show daily in Orlando Science Center, and the partnership will give the science center a leg up on works such as director James Cameron's planned doc about deep-sea diving, expected to be ready next year.
“We will be a premiere site for it,” Stanford says.
The deal does not interfere with Orlando Science Center's recent decision to run Hollywood films in its Digital Adventure Theater on Friday and Saturday evenings. This weekend features "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "Wreck-It Ralph 3D."
Orlando Science Center will celebrate its new partnership Saturday with screenings of National Geographic's "Meerkats 3D" at 3:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. The event will also include visits from Central Florida Zoo animals such as a ball python, yellow-billed hornbill, emperor scorpion and African hedgehog from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., plus National Geographic giveways such as meerkat dolls and prize packs with Geographic DVDs.
Regular admission is required for Saturday's events. Tickets are $27 ($20 for ages 3-11). That includes access to all demonstrations and exhibits, including Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.
More information: <a href="http://www.osc.org">www.osc.org</a> or 407-514-2000.