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Staerkel Planetarium and Harold and Jean Miner celebrating 30th anniversary

Exterior view of the Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College. It's a brick building with a pitched dome roof.
Parkland College

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium and the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre at Parkland College will celebrate their 30th anniversary this fall with various events for the community. 

First off, the planetarium and theatre are asking for members of the community to come forth and share their favorite memories of visiting the venues. Anything from concerts, weddings, birthday’s, and more are accepted. Submissions can be made by sending an email either to [email protected] or [email protected], or sending a card or letter to either venue at 2400 W. Bradley Avenue, Champaign, IL 61821.

Planetarium Events:

To kick off the celebration for the Planetarium, staff will bring back the first program ever shown under the 50-foot dome in October 1987, Odyssey. The show has been update to fulldome digital format, and will open October 6th, and play on Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm throughout the month. Tickets are $6 adults and $5 for students, seniors and kids, available at the door.

Aditionally, on Oct. 7, the planetarium will hold a birthday party for its Carl Zeiss star machine. The open house will happen from 2 to 5 p.m: where everyone is invited to stop in for birthday cake, sign a card for Carl, and have their photos taken with the iconic machine.

Theatre Events:

The theatre will be hosting a lobby display featuring information dating back to it’s opening day. 

The theatre will also bring back “talk-backs” for each of its productions this season. This great opportunity gives the audience a chance to ask questions, connect more with the cast and crew, and learn more about the production they just saw. 

Lastly, the theatre is introducing season tickets this fall, which include a 15-percent discount and a free concession.

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