CYPRESS, CA – (January 28, 2009) – Christie, a global leader in visual solutions for entertainment, business and industry, announced that its state-of-the-art digital cinema projectors were used by Galaxy Theatres in Gig Harbor, Washington to beam down live images of NASA astronauts onboard the International Space Station as they answered questions from students at the multiplex. The educational downlink event, part of Key Peninsula Middle School’s NASA Explorer School project, brought together nearly 2,000 students, teachers, parents, community leaders, and government officials to the Galaxy Uptown Theatre on January 21, 2009. A total of 10 screens were used in the broadcast of Expedition 18 astronauts Mike Fincke and Sandra Magnus. Working in partnership with Galaxy Theatres, Key Peninsula, and NASA, Christie DLP Cinema® projectors were at the heart of the event to deliver a truly unique learning experience to the students.
Bonnie Dunbar, CEO of the Museum of Flight in Seattle and former NASA astronaut, and General Shalikashvili, a former chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, joined the students at Galaxy. The downlink is an integral component of NASA’s Teaching from Space Education Office. The office promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of human space flight. It seeks to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math.
Kareen Borders, the NASA Explorer School Team Lead and teacher at Key Peninsula Middle School, played a key role in bringing the event to fruition. She and other teachers also prepared their students by having them engage in district-aligned hands-on investigations related to the history and mission of the space station and other NASA initiatives. She is looking forward to continued film industry and education partnerships.
“In order to prepare our students for 21st century global competitiveness, we know that business partnerships are crucial. We are excited that Galaxy Theatres and Christie will continue to be leaders in bringing cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities to our students,” said Borders.
Frank Rimkus, CEO at Galaxy Theatres, was impressed with the turnout and the visible sense of excitement in the faces of the students. “We were thrilled to be one of the first movie houses in the country to work with NASA and host so many deserving students and educators in this stimulating and inspiring environment,” he said. “At Galaxy Theatres, we believe that addressing important social issues in a responsible and entrepreneurial way helps build strong bonds and goodwill in the communities we serve. We’re also grateful to so many people and companies who believed in this project and contributed their time, products and services to make it happen.”
Rimkus noted that the installation of Christie digital cinema projectors in Galaxy Uptown Theatre was the technological cornerstone that made the event possible. “They transform our theatres into cutting-edge multi-media presentation facilities, providing us with advanced presentation and programming capabilities that the majority of most U.S. communities don’t have,” he said.
“Digital cinema converts a theatre from a single-product business into an infinite product business, enabling a wide range of live events and entertainment options,” he added. “I can see in the not-too-distant future when movie houses will once again become a community center and be able to provide exceptional educational opportunities for students whose schools could not otherwise afford them in the classrooms. Not every student can attend Harvard or fly in outer space, but we can bring Harvard, the stars and beyond to every student through digital cinema.”
“Christie is a strong believer in the use of technology to enhance and transform the educational, cultural, and social experiences of our communities,” said Craig Sholder, vice-president of Christie’s Entertainment Solutions. “We are proud to have been a part of this milestone partnership between NASA, Galaxy Theatres, and area schools, using digital cinema to educate and inspire young people and to strengthen community ties.”
The event aired live on NASA Television and can be seen on the Web at http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/archive/exp18/replay17.php.
About Galaxy Theatres
Galaxy Theatres, LLC is a fully integrated movie theatre company. Privately owned, it is ranked by size in the top 10% of its industry, according to the National Theatre Association, and currently has theatres in California, Nevada, Texas and Washington. Formed in 1998, its focus is to develop and operate a portfolio of high impact, state-of-the-art movie entertainment theatres in selected markets of the western United States.
Galaxy Theatres’ award winning business philosophy of “More than just a Theatre” incorporates the best in movie entertainment with the Company’s philosophy of active community service. For more information about Galaxy Theatres, contact them at CorpInfo@galaxytheatres.com.
Christie, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan, (JP:6925), is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in digital projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. With the acquisition of Vista Controls Systems, Corp., Christie offers the most complete and advanced solutions for cinema, live venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments.