Laser shows at Sharpe Planetarium 

"It's really much, much more intricate than it was before," says Dave Maness of modern laser shows. Maness is Sharpe Planetarium Supervisor at the Pink Palace Museum and as such is in charge of the museum's laser shows.

This week, the planetarium will host its Fab Friday show featuring a Laser Tribute, Laser Genesis, and Laser Led Zeppelin.

"Back in the '70s and early '80s, they used a lot of incandescent effects and psychedelic-like liquid lights," he says. Since then, technology has advanced. The motors are faster, smaller, and lighter, and the laser power is greater, with sharper colors and more intricate designs.

click to enlarge Dark Side of the Planetarium
  • Dark Side of the Planetarium

Maness says back when he started at the Pink Palace in 2006, there was a large water-cooled laser. He was shown the Elvis laser show, and then that laser went kaput, never to laze again.

Laser shows are now computer programmed, though Maness notes there's always an operator there to give the show a little extra flash.

Along with the improvements in laser technology, the music has been upgraded as well, with shows dedicated to Beyonce and shows that include music from Miley Cyrus, John Legend, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, and the like. They still dust off the old Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, from time to time, of course. "Pink Floyd has to be involved," Maness says. "It's the quintessential group for lasers."

For Maness, laser shows are like a more intense fireworks display. "It's hard to put into words if you haven't seen it," he says.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Latest

Music Blog

Looking Back at the Continuum Music Festival 2019

Intermission Impossible

Tony Isbell: Discovering The Humans

News Blog

Group Hopes to De-Criminalize Poverty

Hungry Memphis

Best Bets: Lobster Stew at Flying Fish

Art Feature

Horn Island: The Last Show

News Blog

Attorneys General Plan to Curb Robocalls

The Rant

The Buck Stops ... Where?

We Saw You

Grandma’s Heavenly Meatball Eating Contest and More

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Susan Ellis

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation