The Aquarium of the Pacific gave the media a sneak peek at Pacific Visions, and it was truly a treat to experience this new expansive wing filled with an ocean of innovation and education.
The Aquarium of the Pacific made waves on Thursday, May 16th with its Pacific Visions Media Preview—and What’s good Gab was invited to join in on the festivities and get a first-look!
The fun-filled day began with live music and a buffet lunch in the Great Hall outside the Pacific Visions entrance. Excitement was abound and a surprise visit by Astaire from the June Keyes Penguin Habitat brought the media to a frenzy to see the furry friend roll by, up-close and personal.
The program began in the lovely Ocean Theater where event speakers shared the concept, inception, and grand culmination of Pacific Visions, the $53 million dollar wing and first-ever major expansion in the history of the aquarium. Dr. Jerry Schubel, President and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific explained that Pacific Visions was about, “the one animal that’s putting other animals at risk, us.”
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia expressed his excitement over Pacific Visions and stated that the city of Long Beach was proud to donate a $15 million grant to help build this new wing because of its importance to “explore our relationship to the planet” and the fact that it would be a significant gathering place for “scientists as well as the community” to “educate and engage.”
Honda, a Aquarium Founding Partner for more than 20 years also donated $5 million for the naming of the Pacific Visions theater. Other contributors included, $5 million from the Molina Family as well as $1.9 million from the RMC Project.
We first stepped foot into the Art Gallery of Pacific Visions which was a visual masterpiece filled with the installation, Reefs & Drifters. This 2,800-square-foot space is a multi-sensory experience where guests can experience:
- Colorful visuals from video projections featuring Coral World and Plankton World
- A touchable and totally cool coral wall with multi-dimensional aspects that you can feel and touch texture
- A hanging glass sculpture inspired by plankton that hangs above and sparkles celestially
- A mesmerizing collection of mirrored exhibits called Infinity Coral that seems boundless
This serene yet stunning 2,600-square-foot space has a spectacular 18-foot-wide virtual waterfall that responds to movement so guests can have fun interacting with it.
There is also a 26-foot-wide by 8-foot-tall LED screen that plays a very colorful, moving, and informative pre-show film on the history of life on our planet, and the connection between humans and nature.
Honda Pacific Visions Theater
Guests will embark on a multisensory experience like no other in this tech-novative theater that’s larger-than-life! We entered the colossal theater and were floored with amazement to see the 300-seat, 130-foot-wide by 32-foot-tall screen and theater with a 180-degree arc. Surrounding the screen, we were greeted by the Long Beach Chorale led by Mathew Martinez who performed around the theater’s 36-foot-wide floor projection disc which can tilt up. The theater is super IMPRESSIVE AND INNOVATIVE, it not only delivers full peripheral vision, 22 channels of audio, and 9K resolution, but it also incorporates sensory experiences with fog, wind, scent, strobe lights, and seat vibrations for a full-on effect making you feel as if you were part of the screen.
Guests will enjoy Designing Our Future, an 8-minute informative and call-to-action film that moves you through a multi-sensory experience, all while engaging and educating guests on the Anthropocene era and leaving you with the message that the “decisions we make determine our future.” It is our duty to experiment and explore in order to learn, discover, and create a sustainable future for humans, species, and the planet we live in so that nature and our children, and their children’s children can thrive.
This fun interactive area is great for all ages, where guests can test their knowledge though:
Live animal exhibits
Featuring the endangered delta smelt, California yellowtail which is an example of a fish that could be sustainably grown, and Pacific and Olympia Oysters which help stabilize the shoreline and provide a habitat for other marine life
With the new expansion, the Aquarium continues its quest to create the aquarium of the future—a combination of aquarium, science center, art gallery, performing arts space, and think tank to explore solutions to some of our world’s biggest environmental issues. The Honda Pacific Visions Theater will be home to special programs at the Aquarium and serve as a platform to host performing arts events, panel discussions, community meetings, and educational seminars. Pacific Visions programs will tackle issues including: climate change, extreme weather, sea level rise, water shortages, and creating a food supply to feed an additional 2.5 billion people by sustainably farming the land and the sea.
Pacific Visions opens to the public on May 24, 2019. To learn more about Pacific Visions, visit aquariumofpacific.org.