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 Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
Photograph: © AMNH/D. Finnin

The Hayden Planetarium Space Theater is re-opening at limited capacity today

Enjoy a re-screening of the Lupita Nyong'o-narrated 'Worlds Beyond Earth.'

By
Anna Ben Yehuda
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After a full year, New Yorkers will finally be able to scratch their itch for space-related adventures once more as the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater at the American Museum of Natural History is officially re-opening at limited capacity today.

The museum itself has actually been open since September but the planetarium falls within the city's movie theater-related guidelines, which changed this month.

"We are thrilled to reopen the doors of the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater, a world-class facility with a long and storied history of bringing our visitors to the outer limits of space and the universe," said museum President Ellen V. Futter in an official press release announcing the news. "As New York City continues to extend its reopening and recovery, we are proud for this iconic theater to once again offer experiences that are transporting, enriching, and grounded in authentic science."

A few things to keep in mind: all tickets must be reserved in advance right here and your visit will be timed. Although the theater can usually accommodate up to 429 visitors, only 48 people will be allowed in at once for each showing in order to obey by social distancing requirements. Expect seven shows daily.

Of course, cleaning and sanitary protocols will also be in place.

As for what you'll actually get to see this month, the destination is planning on re-screening Worlds Beyond Earth, the Lupita Nyong'o narrated space show that premiered back in January of 2020, just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the museum to shut its doors. According to the official press release, the film "features immersive visualizations, groundbreaking space missions and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system, all rendered in 8K on the most advanced planetarium projection system in the world."

Of course, we're a long way away from a total return to normalcy, but there's something incredibly exciting about such an iconic New York institution allowing us inside after a closure that lasted over 365 days.  

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