Laserium was born in the late 1960s and early '70s. Ivan Dryer, then a film maker, inspired by a new multi-colored laser at Cal Tech, first made a film to set the patterns to music and then assembled a team of engineers and artists to design an advanced laser projector in order to produce live choreographed laser shows. Presenting the idea to Griffith Observatory and Planetarium landed Ivan a temporary concession operating permit from the city of Los Angeles, and the first Laserium show to the public premiered November 19, 1973. Laserium expanded to many locations in the United States and abroad and has been experienced by more than 20 million people.
Laserium was important not just in terms of technology but because it introduced a new business model to planetariums - entertainment shows that extended the programming, expanded the audience and provided a new source of revenue. With planetariums now rapidly converting to digital dome video ("fulldome") systems, and science center operators likewise converting their film domes to digital cinema there is new potential for creativity and market expansion, and new interest in the pioneering example set by Ivan Dryer more than 35 years ago.
Areas of focus will include sound design and audio, cross-platforming from fulldome to giant screen and vice versa, designing a fulldome curriculum in schools, scripting and story for fulldome shows, and setting up fulldome theaters as multipurpose spaces. There will be a series of curated screenings, a Fulldome Innovation Salon for networking, product demonstrations and content sharing, a Creative Video Lab and the IMERSA Fulldome Standards Committee will address audio as the next phase of its work. Workshops will range from beginner to advanced levels.