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From Columbia to the Cosmos


Courtesy Columbia CVB

The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia is getting a $20.5 million facelift. Once it’s finished, stars will appear.

Set to open in April 2014, “Windows to New Worlds” will fill a 70,000-square-foot space with a state-of-the-art observatory, a 55-foot digital dome planetarium and theater, and the state’s largest 4-D theater.

The planetarium will unlock the universe and its mysteries for all to see: stars, planets, the moon and eclipses. Spectacular shows will range from the microworld of subatomic particles to galaxies far across the cosmos, along with dazzling laser-light and sound experiences.

In the 4-D theater, viewers get a squirt if it’s raining in the movie and ruffled hair if it’s windy. If there is a wagon bumping down the road, they’ll get jostled.

“There’ll be smells and pokes and tickles,” said Tut Underwood, director of public information and marketing.

Throughout construction, the museum will remain open.