By Shyam Allard
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College could soon be home to monthly, state-of-the-art laser shows, including displays to popular classic rock albums.
A Prismatic full-dome laser projection system will be installed for “LaserFest,” a four-day event in which musical and educational shows will be presented at the planetarium Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, in honor of its 10-year anniversary, according to the Santa Fe College website.
Planetarium Director James Albury hopes that “LaserFest” will be successful enough to justify permanently purchasing the new laser system. The event, which will also feature a Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin laser show, could help the plan work.
d’“Potentially, just with ‘LaserFest,’ if we sell out every show, which I have a feeling we will, and we charge between $7 and $10 per person, we could make enough money to purchase planetarium shows,” Albury said.
Albury wants the planetarium to host laser events on a regular basis.
“The idea I have is that each month we would show a different laser show on Friday and Saturday evenings,” Albury said. “One month we would do ‘Laser Led Zeppelin,’ the next month we would do ‘Laser Pink Floyd,’ next month we would do ‘Laser Beatles.’”
Celia Almeida, a 28-year-old UF graduate who is now a music correspondent for the Miami New Times, has been going to rock laser shows in Miami since she was 16.
“There’s a really mixed crowd at those shows,” Almeida said. “You could get the older crowd who grew up with those albums, and then you could get the newer crowd who loves the albums, and they’re younger and they never got to hear them in all their glory back then.”
She also visited the planetarium at SFC for the MorningBell Boa Noite CD release.
“When I saw Morningbell do it, I was like ‘man these laser light shows, they should really bring them to Gainesville,’” Almeida said.
Albury is optimistic.
“It’s gonna be fun,” Albury said.
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