Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pacific Visions Preview: We Need To Get Rid Of The Smaller Theater In It

pic Tom Bonner
Opening this Friday is the Pacific Visions Pavilion at the Aquarium of the Pacific. We got to preview it and though a lot of it is grand, it's mostly a reminder of how we need to fix the environment.

Pacific Visions
Opens May 24
Aquarium of the Pacific
$ Admission 
I heard kids shouting, "Oh my Goood! Look at those penguins!" They were excited and happy, this was out in the open near the penguin exhibit and that was the same at the other exhibits featuring the creatures from our oceans. Forget that at the new Pacific Visions. Visions is sort of a beautiful mess of reminding the world and specifically kids that things are bad. All of it is mostly in the dark, which doesn't invoke much happiness to small children.

*Though shots of it make it looks like it's a separate building, it is conencted to the aquarium near the front.

It starts of with an art gallery that will change exhibitions over time. When we went, they had some fun work called Reefs & Drifters that showcased plankton and coral. We're not sure about the benefits educationally with this or how a little kid won't like how dark it is inside. For older attendees, it's a nice start and hopefully has some more fun pieces over the years and maybe lighting.

Next area was a mistake, it's a pre-show area that happens before sitting down for another video to play, except that video is in the 8k Honda Pacific Visions Theater. I don't know who planned it, but getting up to go into a bigger theater from seating in a smaller theater, well, it's just kind of dumb. And the videos tell the same story with the 8k theater just being better at it.

So, instead of interacting with people or having any sort of connection to living creatures you'll sit on your butt twice to watch a reminder on how we need to fix the oceans

 I'm not sure why the 8k theater with a giant screen that curves in a 180-degree arc and never before seen by us 36-foot-wide floor projection disc doesn't show the only video for the exhibit. This theater also has the ability to create fog, wind, scent, strobe lights, and seat vibration, which the other can't. Some of these extra  were featured in the 8k theater and were a nice little bonus to the screening. The video quality was quite amazing though the subject matter and way it was presented was kind of boring. I could see a tired Dad falling a sleep to it.
We're not sure when new videos or screenings will showcase all of its features, but hopefully down the line will see other films play, specially made for the theater. Because, if it's only that one short video, it's a waste.

After the second theater, can't believe I have to write that, you'll enter a rehash of the more boring stuff you'd see at the California Science Center. The culmination gallery is darkly lit, because someone thinks that's cool, has tables you can touch to answer questions about conservation and some machines you can pull and rotate to tell you facts about consumption and pollution.

Overall, it's kind of a let down after hearing about it all these years. The regular aquarium maybe should have invested in a face lift instead of this new pavilion. A pavilion that, though brand new and beautiful, does little to give hope for the future, even when it showcases what the world might look like if we make it better.

Jerry Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president & CEO, seems like his heart is in the right place, his words of making it easier to explore new technology and being allowed to do so without being hindered spoke to us. Hopefully, whatever lobby is trying to stop work for a better tomorrow is thrown to the curb, but he didn't really explain who was stopping it. He was deeply enamored that this new pavilion will out live those who made it and remind future generations to care about the oceans. Which we should do anyway.
Jerry Schubel