Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dow Planetarium

History of the Montréal Planetarium

The Montréal Planetarium — formerly known as the Dow Planetarium — was inaugurated on April 1, 1966 by Mr. Jean Drapeau, who was Montréal’s mayor at the time. This event marked the culmination of more than three years of planning and hard work by Dr. Pierre Gendron, who was past professor of chemistry and founding Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa, and an avid amateur astronomer. At the time, Dr. Gendron was also president of the board of directors of Dow Breweries, which later became O’Keefe Breweries (since then absorbed by Molson Breweries). It was through his impetus that Dow Breweries decided to endow Montréal with a world class planetarium, add to the city’s touristic appeal, and to the Montréal Universal and International Exposition of 1967, Expo 67. 

Plans for the Planetarium were developed by the architectural firm of David-Barott-Boulva. The innovative design echoed an astronomical theme, evidenced by the exterior of the dome which resembles Saturn surrounded by its rings. The Planetarium was built at a cost of 1.2 million dollars and located on Chaboillez Square which once served as a parking area. In February 1966, the building and its projection equipment were ready as several lecturers busily prepared for the inaugural show, "New Skies for a New City" which premiered on April 4, 1966.

Since opening day, the Planetarium has produced more than 250 shows, attended by nearly six million spectators; and 50 lecturers have given more than 58,000 presentations in the Star-Theatre.

Today, as yesterday, the Planetarium continues to disseminate scientific and astronomical information to the public


...visit the Planetariums homepage at this link:


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