Maui Ocean Center – New 3D Digital Monolithic Theater Featuring Eye-to-Eye Humpback Whales
You ride by the Maui Ocean Center and Aquarium each time you land on this beautiful island and traverse back and forth to the Westside, but this year it looks a bit different. A new balloon-like dome has appeared on the scene and the Center is touting a brand new, state of the art theater which broadcasts 4k imagery, 3D active glasses and a 7.1 surround system featuring the humpback whales that grace us with their presence each year.
Created from inflatable polyvinyl chloride (PVC), concrete and air foam insulation the dome measures 56 feet in diameter and seats 139 visitors. Built as a 2/3 sphere dome, the possibilities for the Ocean Center to educate their guests on the heavenlies and the ocean itself have become a reality. In the summer of 2018 with the collaboration of Kahe Construction and Monolithic Constructors, the sphere was inflated. Since that time, a 1200 square foot exhibit hall has been added and walks visitors through an interactive visual learning pod of information on the humpback whales, their yearly migration from Alaska and how the whales have impacted the islands for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Under the direction of the Ocean Center’s senior exhibit designer Chris Masterson, the whales were seen from an eye-to-eye perspective for the first time in February of 2019. The images themselves were developed, produced and directed by Daniel Opitz of Ocean Mind and include film footage from two different seasons in the waters of Maui. Three years in the making, this presentation sent me back to my younger years and my passion for these eloquent mammals. My friend and I viewed it for the first time and like little children, we ran back to the front of the line and asked if we could watch it again.
The actual viewing time for the whale show is 15 minutes and is not recommended for children under the age of 4. The exhibit opens at 10 a.m. with shows on the half hour and closes at 4 p.m. The Maui Ocean Center is very mindful of local and military visitors and offers a 35% reduction on the admission rates. Other daily presentations in the existing facilities on Shallow Reef, Blacktip, Turtle Lagoon, Open Ocean, Tide Pool and Nursery Bay round out the day of your visit. For current offers and specials please visit the Ocean Center website
So if you are not too keen on being in the water, eye-to-eye with a live whale or if you are visiting Maui at a time when our favorite mammals are back in their home waters of Alaska, stop in for an amazing adventure that will leave you with an appreciation of our Creator and the wonderful world we are blessed to live in!