Cummins Planetarium

The Cummins Planetarium, at Rocky Mount’s Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, first opened in the Spring of 2006, making it the first planetarium in North Carolina to feature a full-dome digital video projection system. The planetarium features a thirty-foot dome, tilted forward slightly to maximize viewing for audiences of up to 50 people. Admission to all shows is on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission to the Children’s Museum & Science Center includes admission to all public shows that day. Shows begin promptly and, for the safety and comfort of all visitors, no late seating or re-admission is permitted.

Planetarium Shows

Planetarium shows include something for everyone, including: flying dinosaurs, thrill rides, the search for extraterrestrial life, interstellar travel, even Muppets!

Two Small Pieces of Glass – The Amazing Telescope

While attending a local star party, a pair of young observers share a conversation with a female astronomer who enlightens them about the amazing telescope, how it has helped our understanding of the Universe and our place in it. They learn the history of the telescopes, how they work, the discoveries these amazing tools have allowed us to make. See how scientists at the largest observatories in the world use telescopes to explore the Galilean moons, Saturn’s rings, and the spiral structure of galaxies. Soundtrack performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
(Through August, 2019 / Ages 6 to Adult)


Space exploration is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to become an astronaut? Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space. Maneuver through microscopic landscapes of the human body to the floating around the International Space Station. Meet an animated crash test astronaut named Chad and discover the perils of human spaceflight! Do you have the right stuff? Narrated by Ewan McGregor.
(Through August, 2019 / Ages 6 to Adult)

Seasonal Stargazing

Public presentations of Astronaut, Stars and TSPoG include this short guided tour the current night sky, updated regularly to reflect the changes that occur from one season to the next. Learn the names of the bright stars and how to find your way among the constellations.
(Through August, 2019 / Ages 6 to Adult)

One World, One Sky – Big Bird’s Adventure

Take a magical, musical journey to the Moon and back with Big Bird and friends, while learning about the Sun and stars along the way. This show is intended as a gentle introduction to the Planetarium environment geared specifically for our very youngest and first time planetarium visitors.
(Through May, 2019 / Ages 7 and under)

Laser Shows

Musical laser light shows in the Cummins Planetarium feature a variety of artists and musical styles interpreted through the visual magic of 3D laser graphics, animation and lighting effects. And a different laser show is presented each month. Due to the frequency of light pulses and the intensity of some color patterns, we don’t recommend laser shows for visitors who may be prone to seizures. Please note, also, that laser shows (and laser show audiences!) may be quite loud, and are not recommended for visitors under 6 years of age.

Lasers of Oz

Enjoy the most enchanting musical numbers from the beloved 1939 film, “The Wizard of OZ.” Colorful laser animation brings new life to Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Witches (good and bad), as well as the great and powerful Oz himself.
(May, 2019)

Spirit of America

Dazzling laser graphics and animation in a musical tribute to life in the USA. Featured musical artists include KISS, Garth Brooks, John Mellencamp, Brooks & Dunn, Lee Greenwood, Celine Dion and more.
(June, 2019)

Laser Beatles

Charming animation and psychedelic laser visuals celebrate the musical phenomenon that included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Return to a more innocent time with tracks including “Octopus’s Garden,” “Help!,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Get Back,” “Yesterday,” and “Strawberry Fields.”
(July, 2019)

Laser Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

Musical selections for this month’s laser show are from Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking 1973 classic rock album “Dark Side of the Moon,” frequently sited as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Tracks include “Time,” “Money,” “Us & Them,” “On the Run,” and more.
(August, 2019)

Laser 101

Find out how lasers work from the Planetarium’s resident expert! A highly excitable electron presents this brief but informative demonstration before your featured Laser Show.

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