WASHINGTON — A good Imax movie can make you feel like you’re soaring over trees, crawling around with bugs or in a stormy rain forest.
But Jonathan Barker, who produced the movie “Amazon Adventure,” currently showing at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, says we’re about to lose that experience.
“We got word the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History is intending this fall to close, permanently, its Imax cinema,” Barker said. “I’ve had several conversations with the director of the museum and the only thing he’s talked about is expanding food services to give more food to the customers, which is so unrelated, to me, to the mission of the Smithsonian. How can it be within the Smithsonian’s mission to provide our children less nature and more fast food?”
He says this closure will make the “nature deficit disorder” we’re already suffering as a society even worse.
“There are only two ways you can go out to nature. One is to physically go out to nature, which many people don’t have the luxury to be able to afford to do. Or you can connect to it through the most immersive medium there is, the Imax medium.”
Barker says that for many people, Imax is how they experience the wonders of nature.
“There are hundreds of thousands per year, millions of people over the years who visit the Imax theater at the Natural History Museum,” he said. “It’s the only place in D.C. where visitors and residents can see natural history films on the giant screen. So, to take that away is to take away our connection to nature.”
Barker and other filmmakers have joined together to start a petition to save the theater.
WTOP has reached out to the Smithsonian for comment, but has not received a response.