Evans & Sutherland Accolades

In celebration of Digistar's 30th anniversary, we are collecting stories, images and videos of how Digistar has impacted the fulldome community over the past 3 decades. Please send your stories to us via our contact form. We will post them here, and we may use them in other promotions to celebrate Digistar's legacy.

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Chaffee Planetarium [Chaffee Planetarium]
By Dan Tell
Digistar 1 Table Dan Tell's Digistar 1 Table
I started working in the planetarium field at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium in Grand Rapids, MI in 2003. The Chaffee had been a Digistar I theater since 1994, and a Digistar II since 2000. When I arrived, due to recent staffing changes, a lot of the knowledge on how to really get the most out of the Digistar was lost at our site.
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I was very impressed by the Digistar, and soon learned to program it, and eventually build new models and effects for it. One of the most moving and memorable experiences in my life was the first time I displayed a model I made with the Digistar, drawing it so it looked a hundred feet tall and knowing I was the first person to ever see this specific thing, like I was discovering an entire new world.

During my time at the Chaffee almost half a million visitors saw programs containing Digistar graphics I produced, and while the D2 may not be the most modern piece of technology, I was always pleased with its power, when wielded right, to awe and amaze visitors and give the sensation they were leaving their seats and travelling the Universe, or realms of my imagination. The Digistar was certainly one of the most important machines in my life, and it was an honor to use it to touch the lives of others.

Today I'm no longer with the Chaffee, but I was glad to make sure my successors were able to use the Digistar to continue to inspire, even now as they work to keep the old girl running. And although it may not be my Digistar, I'm glad to have a part of one with me always, to remember my time with it.


Kalamazoo Valley Museum [Kalamazoo Valley Museum]
By Eric Schreur
I have been involved in astronomy all the way back to 1969. I became part of the local astronomy club and started chasing total solar eclipses with the one that raced across Georgia on March 7, 1970. It was the same year, 1969, that I gained a planetarium operator's certificate which permitted me to run demonstrations as a volunteer at the Kalamazoo Public Museum planetarium.
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In 1984 I was a veteran eclipse chaser, newly married, and headed to a very narrow "contact" annular eclipse in Virginia. The eclipse took place May 30th and a viewing session was hosted by the Science Museum of Virginia. One of my astronomy friends from years before, Ken Wilson, with whom I had traveled to three eclipses was working on the staff of the museum, putting shows together in their Digistar 1 planetarium.

The day before the eclipse we visited the museum and took in the show. The opening scene began with lights fading and the stars up. Then the star field folded and opened again with the constellation lines added to the stars. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen in a planetarium. That day I knew I wanted to be able to do that in the little planetarium in Kalamazoo.

A year and a half later I was being paid to create and run shows at the Kalamazoo Public Museum planetarium, with plans being made to build a new museum and planetarium over the next five years. When asked what kind of a projector I would like to see, there was no hesitation... Digistar.


Boonshoft Museum of Discovery [Boonshoft Museum of Discovery]
By Jason Heaton
Some of my favorite memories of Digistar include the countless wedding proposals Ive witnessed in our planetarium. We have had a 100 percent success rate from proposals, and I blame Digistar.