Having grown up less than 90 minutes away from the famous Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, I got the chance at least a few times each summer to see an IMAX movie. I remember the packed seats for the pre-show, everyone clamoring for the best seats right in the middle, but everyone was usually just happy to be escaping the heat for the air conditioned theater. When The Dream Is Alive was released in June 1985, I was just old enough to ride those massive roller coasters, but seeing IMAX films at Cedar Point really left an impression on me: a big impression. Seeing those sweeping views of Earth and space on a gigantic screen made spaceflight seem so real, and utterly amazing.
IMAX cameras — the two-dimensional in-cabin and payload bay units — into the National Collection.
Astronaut Michael Collins, the founding director of the National Air and Space Museum when it opened to the public in 1976, first suggested putting an IMAX camera on the shuttle five years before the first launch. He and Graeme Ferguson, and then Collins’ successor as Museum director Walter Boyne, nurtured the idea along until NASA granted approval in 1983. The partnership between IMAX Corporation, the Museum, NASA, and sponsor Lockheed Corporation was so successful that five more jointly-produced films followed The Dream is Alive. These films effectively brought spaceflight down to Earth as an immersive experience for audiences around the world.