Buy Tickets Ticket Join Today

Today’s Hours: 10am – 5pm


New Giant Screen Theater to Open February 2017 at Fernbank Museum

Upgraded Theater Features State-of-the-Art Laser Projection With 3D Capabilities

ATLANTA, January 4, 2017 – Fernbank Museum of Natural History will bring 4K digital projection to Atlanta with its all-new Rankin M. Smith, Sr. Giant Screen Theater, opening February 4, 2017. The theater re-launch kicks off the Museum’s 25th year in Atlanta and will see the replacement of the original 15/70mm film projection system with a state-of-the-art digital laser projection, offering astounding 2D and 3D capabilities. In addition to the cutting-edge digital technology, renovations to the theater will include comfortable new seating, updated flooring, a high-wattage sound system and brand-new five-story screen.

The ground-breaking laser-illuminated projection system, designed and installed by giant-screen industry leaders D3D Cinema, will engage Fernbank moviegoers in the sights and sounds of science-based films unlike ever before. The ultra-high definition 4K resolution will provide images unsurpassed in vibrancy, clarity and impact at double the resolution of standard Hollywood theaters. Whether whisking viewers to the outer limits of space or delving into the depths of the sea, films shown in Fernbank’s Giant Screen Theater play an integral role in supporting the Museum’s programming. By offering films in this incredible new format, Fernbank will further its mission to inspire a lifelong learning of natural history and a greater appreciation for our planet and its inhabitants.

“Fernbank has always sought to immerse viewers in the natural world through films, but the new top-of-the-line digital laser technology and 3D capabilities of the Giant Screen Theater will greatly enhance the experience.  We hope moviegoers will continue to discover a deep connection to science, nature and human culture through the stunning image and sound quality of this highly advanced digital system,” said Jennifer Grant-Warner, Fernbank Executive Vice President & Chief Programming Officer.

To make way for the improved, 4K digital experience, the theater will be closed from January 2 to February 3, 2017 for renovations. The grand opening of Fernbank’s Giant Screen Theater will feature “The Search for Life in Space” (presented in 2D) and “Extreme Weather 3D.” “The Search for Life in Space” takes viewers from the depths of the Pacific Ocean to the ice moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and into the far reaches of space in search of planets like ours. Debuting as the first 3D film to ever show in Fernbank’s Giant Screen Theater, “Extreme Weather 3D” takes moviegoers on a dramatic journey with storm-chaser and filmmaker Sean Casey to destinations with extreme weather conditions, including wildfires in the Western United States and deadly, but mesmerizing, tornadoes in the plains.

Additionally, Fernbank will install a separate new theater to replace the projection system in the Museum’s Auditorium. This update will feature a cinema-standard projection along with a 6-channel digital sound system. While not a laser projector, the Francis Wood Wilson Theater will also be a major upgrade to the Museum experience, allowing for more types of programming, better acoustics, new seats and floors, and an open platform that allows all types of video to play through the system. The Francis Wood Wilson Foundation Theater will be available for special programs as part of the museum experience. Admission prices may vary but many programs will be included with Museum admission.

The all-new Rankin M. Smith, Sr. Giant Screen Theater and updated Francis Wood Wilson Foundation Theater were made possible by a generous gift from local entrepreneur and lifelong advocate of learning, travel and natural history, Dante Stephensen. Stephensen’s commitment to inspiring youth for generations to come will be fulfilled by Fernbank’s incredible new state-of-the-art theaters. In recognition of this generosity and lifelong commitment to Fernbank and learning, the Museum’s entry hall will be named Stephensen Hall.

Giant Screen Theater tickets will not increase with the new advancements and are $13 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $11 for children 12 and younger and $8 for Museum members. Add a Museum ticket as part of a Value Pass for extra savings (see Value Pass prices at Visit for show times, tickets and more information.

About Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is  one of the most popular and iconic cultural attractions in Atlanta. Home to the world’s largest dinosaurs, Atlanta’s biggest Giant Screen Theater and one of the largest assemblages of urban Piedmont forest in the United States, Fernbank brings science to life through immersive programming and unmatched experiences  that encourage a greater appreciation of our planet and its inhabitants.  Fernbank continues its nearly 80-year environmental legacy to protect Fernbank Forest while fulfilling an educational mission to inspire life-long learning of natural history. Visit for  more information and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About D3D Cinema 
D3D Cinema offers complete digital 3D cinema solutions and services to museum and attraction industry clients worldwide, providing a unique partnership approach to cinema design and 3D content production built around four core capabilities - theater design and installation; touring exhibition theaters; an award-winning library of 3D content; and custom signature film production. Comprised of institutional theater specialists, D3D excels in bringing first-to-market immersive cinema technologies to its clients, offering technology-agnostic consultation, strategic planning, installation, content production & distribution, operational support, and ongoing service. D3D is headquartered in Evanston, IL with offices in the greater New York and Philadelphia areas.