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Planetarium Shows

Visit the planets, travel to a black hole, observe spinning galaxies or study the Earth from space in the Virginia Living Museum’s 71-seat Abbitt Planetarium Theater. Using our state-of-the-art digital full-screen projection system, we can recreate the many wonders of the universe, including the stars and constellations of the sky for any season of the year – all from the comfort of an armchair.

All daytime programs cost $4 plus Museum admission. VLM members are admitted free to day-time programs.

The Abbitt Planetarium is open:

Memorial Day through Labor Day: Daily

October through May: Wednesdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays

Planetarium is closed for annual maintenance this year September 5-30.  (September 30 the Planetarium is open for Members Only for Member Appreciation Space Day.)  The Planetarium is closed for annual maintenance this year October 1-3.


List of Shows

Virginia Skies

Ongoing: days and times vary. Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Explore the evening skies above Virginia in this classic planetarium presentation. A staff astronomer will discuss seasonal constellations as well as any planets visible. Additional topics may be explored depending on celestial happenings around the time of your visit.

Eclipse 2017

Now through Sept. 4. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 10 and above

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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The Great American Eclipse is coming! In August, the United States will experience a rare and marvelous event – a  total eclipse of the Sun. Join us for this timely program that will give you all the information you need to know about how, when and where to view this astronomical spectacle safely.

Saturn: The Ringworld

Oct 4 – Nov 21. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 10 and up

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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September 15th, the Cassini spacecraft will end its 20-year odyssey with a spectacular plunge into Saturn.  Join us in the planetarium as we celebrate the incredibly successful Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its rings and moons.  Featuring some of the intrepid spacecraft’s best images, you won’t want to miss this stunning fulldome presentation.

Kaluoka’hina

May 27 – Sept. 4. Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Kaluoka-hinaThe colorful inhabitants of Kaluoka’hina,  an enchanted reef with magic to protect against humans finding it, live in peace until a volcano erupts and the spell is broken. Can a young sawfish and his pal restore the magic?

Spirit of America

Nov 11. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 6 and up

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Join us in the Abbitt Planetarium for a celebration of America. Spirit of America mixes great patriotic music with America-inspired rock & roll and songs that have defined American music. Rock on to great artists like John Fogerty, Garth Brooks, Lee Greenwood and so many, many more.

This program made possible by Heck Industries.

Show Playlist

  • God Bless America by Celine Dion
  • Hoedown by Aaron Copeland
  • Centerfield by John Fogerty
  • Fifties Medley by Various Artists
  • The Star Spangled Banner by KISS
  • The World’s Greatest by R. Kelly
  • Servicemen on Parade by Aaron Copeland
  • Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks
  • Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp
  • Only in America by Brooks & Dunn
  • State Medley by Various Artists
  • God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood

Solar System Odyssey

Oct 4 – Nov 21. Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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“Solar System Odyssey” is a character-driven adventure set in the future, in a time when humans have depleted the resources of their home planet. A business tycoon recruits our hero, Jack Larson, on a mission to discover a new home for humans to colonize. The journey takes Jack, an important stowaway, and you on an exciting exploration of our cosmic neighborhood, including the icy rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s volcano-ridden moon Io and the sub-zero methane lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan. Can humans find another place to settle before the Earth becomes unlivable? And what will happen to our home planet?  Find out in this wild solar system adventure! This program made possible by The Morehead Planetarium and NASA.

Laser U2

Aug 1 – Sept 4. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 6 and above

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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The ultimate band from Ireland’s ultimate laser show! Featuring classic U2 hits like “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “New Year’s Day,” “October” and many, many more, this show will astound you with its awesome laser effects!

Laser Rock

 Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Immerse yourself in the many facets of rock and roll with this awesome laser show.  Featuring tracks from artists like Foreigner, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and more, this show is a visual and auditory tribute to all those who know how to rock.

Please note that we do not recommend this program for children under the age of 15.

Many of these songs contain lyrics some parents may find objectionable.

Please be aware that volume levels will be high and the imagery can be intense.

Please note that we do not recommend this program for children under the age of 15.

Show Playlist

  • Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
  • Juke Box Hero by Foreigner
  • Ramble On by Led Zeppelin
  • Suffragette City by David Bowie
  • Long Distance Runaround by Yes
  • La Grange by ZZ Top
  • From the Beginning by Emerson, Lake and Palmer
  • Tonight, Tonight, Tonight by Genesis
  • YYZ by Rush
  • Ace of Spades by Motörhead

Dark Side of the Moon

Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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darksidemoon

Moon offers a mixture of psychedelic, rock and jazz sounds. Its sonic backdrops and atmospheric soundscapes combined with a unique assortment of sound effects yield an emotional resonance. When accompanied by a diverse and unusual display of laser art, the overall feel is a dramatic and haunting atmosphere.

From the very beginning of lasers, this album has represented the ultimate in laser show experiences. And it’s still true today. Join us for the seminal laser show experience with one of the most incredible albums of all time. Considered by many critics to be the album that brought the commercial breakthrough to Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon.

Please note that we do not recommend this program for children under the age of 15.

Some of these songs contain lyrics some parents may find objectionable.

Please be aware that volume levels during our Pink Floyd program will be high and the imagery can be intense.

Show Playlist

  • Speak to Me
  • Breathe
  • On the Run
  • Time
  • The Great Gig in the Sky
  • Money
  • Us and Them
  • Any Colour You Like
  • Brain Damage
  • Eclipse

Laser Metallica

Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Metal meets lasers! And it is intense! The theater shakes with awesome hits like Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters, Sad But True and so much more. You’ve never done metal ’til you’ve done it with lasers!

Please note that we do not recommend this program for children under the age of 15.

Many of these songs contain lyrics some parents may find objectionable.

Please be aware that volume levels during our Metallica program will be high and the imagery can be intense.

Show Playlist

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ain’t My *****
One
Fuel
Nothing Else Matters

Master of Puppets
Unforgiven II
Sad But True
Enter Sandman

The Wall

Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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The Wall is best considered as a continual story rather than a collection of individual songs. It tells the tale of a rock star named Pink and his downward spiral into madness. To the listener, and indeed many critics, The Wall is a gripping and spellbinding musical journey – beautiful, haunting, powerful and thought provoking. It is a timeless classic, and one of Pink Floyd’s best, becoming the group’s second best seller behind Dark Side of the Moon.

Now coupled with spectacular and mesmerizing laser art, Pink Floyd’s classic 1979 epic about personal struggle takes on a unique look, weaving its story in one of the most popular laser shows ever produced! Visitors will become lost and spellbound as their senses join this timeless journey.

Some of these songs contain lyrics some parents may find objectionable.

Please be aware that volume levels during our Pink Floyd program will be high and the imagery can be intense.

Show Playlist

  • In the Flesh
  • The Thin Ice
  • Another Brick in the Wall (Part I)
  • The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  • Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)
  • Mother
  • Goodbye Blue Sky
  • Empty Spaces
  • Young Lust
  • Another Brick in the Wall (Part III)
  • Hey You
  • Comfortably Numb
  • Stop
  • The Trial

Laser Mania

Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Recommended: ages 6 and above

Surveying soft rock, pop, and adult contemporary and easy listening music, this fun family laser concert is a beautiful artistic interpretation for all ages. Featuring music from over five decades, hearts, eyes and ears will enjoy the dazzling colors and laser art set to a collection of musical delights in an immersive visual environment. Laser Mania takes it to the next level with tracks by Weird Al Yankovic, Celine Dion, Beck and many more.

This program is family-friendly: Inappropriate song lyrics have been eliminated or blanked.

Show Playlist

  • Mortal Kombat Theme by The Immortals
  • Blue by Eiffel 65
  • Smooth by Santana
  • Men in Black by Will Smith
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain
  • That’s the Way It Is by Celine Dion
  • Time Warp Medley by Various Artists
  • Desert Rose by Sting
  • Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters from a Planet Near Mars by Weird Al Yankovic
  • Mixed Bizness by Beck
  • Under the Milky Way by The Church
  • Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
  • All the Small Things by Blink 182
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Special Thanks to the British Fulldome Institute for the use of planetarium shows and clips.