The heart of the planetarium is the new digital projector by Konica Minolta and this represents a quantum shift from yesteryear’s servo-mechanical star machines to today’s digital video projection technology. The new Konica Minolta Full-Dome Digital Video planetarium system completely immerses you in imagery, sound & comfort like never before.
The space is completely modernized, from the technology to the finishes (carpet, furniture, paint, etc.). Fabric-covered acoustic wall panels were added to absorb sound. To enlarge the planetarium the outer walls were pushed back a few feet. It now has 145 fixed seats, five spaces for wheelchairs, and an open space in the front that can be used for live music and presentations. Prior to the renovation the planetarium seated 130 people in chairs which were positioned in a circle surrounding a bulky machine that dominated the center of the room. The new dome is 50 feet in diameter. The top is 32.5 feet off the floor, and with a 3,925 SF area, it’s the largest projection screen in Memphis.
To quote Lee Askew (the project's director), "As an architect a planetarium project may come along once per career." ANF is honored to have designed this unique renovation project and we are excited to continue our work at the Pink Palace that began with the Master Plan, followed by phase 1 of the renovations that updated CTI 3D Giant Theater (IMAX conversion) which opened in March of 2014.