The Paulucci Space Theatre opened in 1980 as a state-of-the-art planetarium. The facility featured a Spitz 512 star projector, 20 computer controlled slide projectors for multi-media shows, and many other special effects projectors. In 1985, a 35 mm wide screen movie projector was installed, to be replaced ten years later with an 8-70 mm system. Throughout the years, thousands of people were able to enjoy countless multi-media shows, star lectures, and the same wide screen movies shown at Omnimax theaters across the country.

Over the last 20 years, of course, film has gradually disappeared to be replaced with our modern digital world. This rendered most of the capabilities of the Paulucci Space Theatre obsolete. In fact, the only projection system to survive from its opening is the Spitz star projector. In 2020, the Paulucci Space Theatre underwent a complete remodel. Gone are all of the old slide projectors and movie projector. They have been replaced by a 4K digital full dome projector loaded with dozens of new shows! The sound system has also been upgraded, the cove lighting replaced, and the lobby has been completely redesigned with updated art work and furniture.

Show Schedule

Summer 2024 Show Schedule and Descriptions
All shows include a full-dome movie and a current night sky program

Mondays at 1pm
Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope
Follow two students as they interact with a female astronomer at a local star party.  Along the way, the students learn the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass — using two small pieces of glass — to the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy.  Aiming to engage and appeal to audiences of all ages, the show explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout the last 400 years.

Wednesdays at 1pm
Cosmic Questions?  Answers and Mysteries
Everyone has a cosmic question! We asked museum people and local celebrities to send us their space inquiries. Explore our answers and how we handled the big mysteries like aliens, black holes, and multiverse! Join us for a wild ride through the cosmos as we uncover the peculiar, the obvious, and the far-out.

Fridays at 1pm
A NASA funded show.  Travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the Sun. Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away.

Aurora Storm                                                                                             
A NASA funded show about the captivating northern lights.  It was produced by students and staff at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Museum of the North.  The show teaches about the causes of the aurora and how humans who live beneath their shimmering light are inspired by what they see. Quotes from the written journals of past Arctic explorers and
indigenous people share stories of how they regarded the aurora.

Fridays at 7pm
Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries
Astronomy in Chile.  We visit the following observatories and examine their work;
-Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and its 4m Victor M. Blanco telescope
-Gemini South Observatory on Cerro Pachon and the 8m telescope
-The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, 66 linked radio telescopes

Ticket prices:
Adult (13+): $5
Child (ages 5-12): $3
4 and under: Free

The Planetarium also has a wide variety of school shows available. Teachers can contact us at pst@minnesotanorth.edu for a list.

Theater Rentals

Individual Rental

Rent the theater for birthday parties, groups, fundraisers, family gatherings.

There is a minimum charge of $75 for a 2 hour rental; each additional hour is $30.

Business Rental

Is your business looking for a unique venue for a get-together? Why not rent the Paulucci Space Theatre? Our lobby is the perfect spot to set-up a sampling of hors d’oeuvres or other light fare (we are not set-up for a sit-down dinner). Your group can then move into the theater to view any of our full dome shows, take a tour of the universe using OpenSpace, watch a current night sky show or you may wish to bring in a DVD or Blue-ray to play on the big screen.

The cost is $150/hour with a minimum of two hours.

*It is your responsibility for set-up before and clean-up after.

To make a reservation, call 218-403-9204 or email us at pst@minnesotanorth.edu