The Imax theatre at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History appears to be, well, history. The Washington-based Smithsonian has decided to trim its fat by replacing its impressive facility with a restaurant. To little surprise, the decision to give priority to hot dogs over hot docs has not been popular in the educational-film world.
“Those of us who make natural history films, we do it out of passion,” says Jonathan Barker, a leading figure in giant-screen movie production. “Making Imax films is not much of a business, but it’s something that reaches people and it’s something that can have an impact on young lives. To take that experience away from people in one of the world’s great natural history museums just seems wrong.”