Visit the world's first 10K 3D planetarium

Visit the world's first 10K 3D planetarium
(Image credit: Sony / Le Coupole Planetarium)

The world's first 10K planetarium is open for business in France this summer and could be quite the day trip for AV and astronomy enthusiasts alike, travel restrictions notwithstanding.

La Coupole Planetarium has partnered with Sony to install an impressive looking 3D stargazing cinema in an old World War 2 bunker now refitted and turned into a historical centre. The 10K image is stitched together by using 12 Sony VPL-GTZ380s –the top-of-the-line Sony SXRD 4K projectors – which throw an image onto a 15m domed viewing screen.

Each of the projectors has a 10,000 lumens laser light source and promises high brightness and deep blacks.

The plan from La Coupole was to enhance their image quality with better colour, contrast and consistency of sharpness across the whole screen. Working with RSA Cosmos's SkyExplorer 2021 astronomical software, the historical centre has created three high-detail shows exploring the solar system, the night sky and the moon landings.

To boost the high tech feel even further, new seats have been installed which now feature a control panel in the armrest. These allow audience participation and feedback ranging from reacting with quiz answers, choosing scenarios and even taking control of the camera movement of the on-screen simulation.

La Coupole Centre D'histoire is located in Northern France, just a short hop from Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk. It has daily showings of its 3D films throughout the summer holidays and beyond.

The main building itself is gigantic concrete bunker built in 1943/44 which was used as a German base to launch V2 rockets against London during the Second World War. It was captured by the Allies after the Normandy landings and taken over by the Americans who used the huge underground complex to create the Apollo program that eventually saw the first successful moon landings.

It's now open for visitors to explore as a historical monument to both space exploration and World War II. Well worth a visit if you're in the area.


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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.