Chabot Space & Science Center Brings LASERIUM Back to the Bay Area

Oct 10, 2013, 18:23 ET from Chabot Space & Science Center

Stunning Laser Light Show to Open on 40th Anniversary for Limited Engagement

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- LASERIUM: the Cosmic Laser Concert, will open November 3rd at Chabot Space & Science Center's state-of-the-art planetarium for a limited three month engagement, marking the 40th anniversary of the LASERIUM shows, which were created in the 1970s by Ivan Dryer.

On Friday, November 1st, the night of the new moon, Chabot partners with the Rex Foundation in a benefit LASERIUM show Opening Night : Bring Back the Light featuring Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," on the 40th anniversary of the release of that album.  Opening Event Ambassadors of Light will include cultural luminaries from around the Bay Area, including author Mary Roach, R&B artist D'Wayne Wiggins, pioneer sound engineer John Meyer, medical cannabis advocate and entrepreneur Steve DeAngelo, KFOG personality Rosalie Howarth, businessman George Zimmer, and others. The opening night event will raise funds for Chabot's science education mission and the Rex Foundation, a charitable organization created by members of the Grateful Dead to support creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education.

Laser technology as we know it today was developed over decades as scientists in succession built on research in light emission. From Albert Einstein in 1917 to Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow in the 1950s, and Theodore Maiman and Gordon Gould in the 1960s, lasers or Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation, coined by Gould, would become one of the most revolutionary inventions of the 20th century, with wide ranging use in industrial and medical industries.

In the early 1970s filmmaker Ivan Dryer founded LASERIUM in an effort to introduce a new artform to the public. The first show premiered at Griffith Observatory on November 19, 1973. LASERIUM opened at the Morrison Planetarium in 1979 and was a popular fixture until the last show in September 2000. The brilliant, intense images of LASERIUM shows were popular with audiences who returned again and again to see the show, as live laserists guaranteed a different experience each visit.

The return of LASERIUM was the brainchild of Chabot Executive Director & CEO Alexander Zwissler, who expresses a great nostalgia for the shows that ran during his coming of age in the Bay Area. "For a huge part of the Bay Area population, the LASERIUM shows at Morrison were part of our experience, and the opportunity to bring this excitement and artistry back, and do it in a way that excites the public about science, is something we couldn't pass up."

LASERIUM opens November 3rd to the general public for a limited run in the Chabot Planetarium. Tickets are $12/person ($10 members); tickets including admission to the Center are $22/person (member admission is always free).  Tickets can be purchased at

Tickets for the November 1st benefit (6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.) are $100/person (a portion is tax deductible) and can be purchased at  Includes hosted food and drinks.

LASERIUM showtimes during November are:

  • Fridays:
    • 7:15 p.m.: The Beatles
    • 9:15 p.m.: Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moon"
  • Saturdays:
    • 1:15 p.m.: The Beatles
    • 7:15 p.m.: The Beatles
    • 9:15 p.m.: Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moon"
  • Sundays:
    • 1:15 p.m.: The Beatles
    • 4:15 p.m.: Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moon"

Additional show will be added in December and January including Led Zeppelin "In The Beginning," compilations from U2, Nine Inch Nails, the family oriented Laser Holiday, and an educational show L.A.S.E.R. Amazement. Go to to check current shows and times.

About Chabot Space & Science Center
Chabot Space & Science Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit interactive science center whose mission is to inspire and educate students of all ages about Planet Earth and the Universe. Located in the Oakland hills, the Center focuses on the earth, life, physical and astronomical sciences, with a 128-year legacy of serving Bay Area communities through exhibits, public programs, school field trips, science camps, teacher training, teen development programs and community outreach; hosts 50,000 students on school field trips and over 115,000 public visitors each year; and offers over 20,000 sq ft of interactive exhibits on a variety of space and science subjects, a world-class planetarium, school classes on over 30 different science topics, hands-on science activities, state-of-the-art classrooms and labs and publicly-available research-level telescopes.

About the Rex Foundation
Furthering what the Grateful Dead started 30 years ago, the Rex Foundation funds grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults. 

LASERIUM was born in the late 60's and early 1970's. Ivan Dryer, then a film maker, was treated to a lab demonstration of a new multi-colored laser at Cal Tech. He was so taken by the purity and intensity of the colors that he decided to make a film and set the beautiful patterns to music. His film, Laser Image, disappointed him though. Even though it was an enchanting visual piece, the lasers, as caught on film, lacked the original sizzle they had when seen live. Convinced that one had to experience laser light live, Ivan founded Laser Images in Van Nuys, California. He gathered together a group of optical, mechanical, and electrical engineers and artists who, in the next two years had crafted an advanced laser projector and choreographed the original LASERIUM show. In 1973, Ivan was granted a temporary concession operating permit from the city of Los Angeles to present at Griffith Observatory and Planetarium.  LASERIUM expanded to many locations in the United States and abroad and has been experienced by over 20 million people. LASERIUM continues to produce new laser shows for tours and for music listening events. The company also produces outdoor laser shows, night club, trade show, and rock concert laser effects, and special effects for motion pictures and television.

SOURCE Chabot Space & Science Center