‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition’ Heading to Philadelphia

Posted September 23, 2008 8:58 am by fantasia_kitty

Philadelphia (Sept. 23, 2008) – “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition” will make its East Coast debut
at The Franklin in Philadelphia on November 28, 2008, one of the biggest family weekends of the year. Based on the blockbuster film series and C.S. Lewis’ beloved fictional books, the 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment and educational exhibition will offer visitors the opportunity to tour scenes from the famed literary fantasy world of Narnia. Through authentic costumes, props and set dressings from the magical Narnia films, visitors will enter three-dimensional settings that combine the wonders of science with aspects of fantasy. Tickets are on now on sale to “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition,” which is presented by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media and produced by the Becker Group, and are available for purchase at www.fi.edu/Narnia or by calling 215-448-1254.

“The scene displays and props from the Narnia films, coupled with the scientific and educational aspects of the exhibition, create an immersive experience that stimulates the senses and the mind,” said Glenn Tilley, president and chief executive officer of Becker Group. “It captivated audiences when it opened at the Arizona Science Center earlier this summer, and we are thrilled to now be able to share this exhibition with the people of Philadelphia.”

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition” premiered at the Arizona Science Center (ASC) in Phoenix in June 2008, where it was one of the highest-rated guest experiences the ASC had ever hosted, receiving nearly perfect scores, according to a survey conducted by Jacobs Media. Philadelphia marks the second stop on the multi-city tour, which will include eight additional domestic and international cities during the next five years. As the book series has long been a regarded source of reading inspiration that merges fantasy and history, a special teacher’s guide that includes information on weather and climate also will be available to academic communities and school groups.

“We are honored to host the East Coast premiere of this exhibition,” said Dennis M. Wint, president and chief executive officer of The Franklin. “We know that people are drawn to our institution because of our dynamic approach to science and education, and we feel that ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition’ offers the perfect mix of education and entertainment.”

To help create the science portions of the exhibition, scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory were brought on board to review label copy for the exhibition text panels. Two of the scientists also appear in video presentations that play in corresponding areas within the exhibition in support of the science aspects, including a video that highlights how animals communicate. The video aims to teach visitors how and why animals choose their homes and how they use eye contact, color and sound, among other things, to communicate. Real world animals, such as chimpanzees, apes and dolphins, can be seen communicating with each other and with humans in a video in the forest section of the exhibition, accompanied by an interview with animal communications expert David Mizejewski, host of Animal Planet’s “Backyard Habitats.”

Visitors to the exhibition will view artifacts from C.S. Lewis’ personal study and experience exciting, iconic environments such as the famous attic and wardrobe that served as the portal into the Narnia adventures. Once passing through the portal, guests will explore immersive, themed scenes, beginning with a wintry Narnia world, complete with falling snow and cold wind, as seen in the series’ first film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” The tour then continues through other spectacles from the films, including the White Witch’s ice palace, Cair Paravel and additional displays and environments from “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.”

Incorporating the movies’ original props with newly created engaging and educational elements, the exhibition allows visitors to enter three-dimensional settings that combine both fantasy and reality. Some of these interactive and instructive elements include:

• A replica of the Witch’s Throne that delivers a unique sensory experience, where visitors have the opportunity to sit on the iconic, icy throne and feel the chill. A nearby display describes the impact of climate change on our planet and investigates whether our planet could be frozen for 100 years, like the world of Narnia.

• An area featuring King Miraz’s Castle from the most recent film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” where visitors have the opportunity to build an arch, learning about the architectural structure and strategy involved in the design. Starting from the ground, visitors place pieces of the arch in their correct positions, complete the structure by placing the keystone at the top, and finally, step back to marvel at the architectural wonder.

• An area highlighting the mythical creatures of Narnia allows visitors to create their own creatures featured in the film. Three stacks of rotating, square blocks stand in 3-, 4- and 6-foot configurations, each level featuring different aspects of a creature – the lower level features creature legs, the center the torsos and the upper level the faces. By rearranging the different levels, visitors can create well-known characters from the Narnia films or mix and match the squares to create new characters.

• In an area of the White Witch’s castle, visitors have the opportunity to see and touch pieces of petrified history. Petrified specimens from around the world are featured in the exhibition, including a 5 million-year-old petrified cave bear tooth from Romania and a 45 million-year-old fish from Frontier, WY.

First published in 1950, more than 100 million copies of “The Chronicles of Narnia” series have been sold in more than 50 languages. The series’ first big-screen adaptation, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” grossed more than $745 million worldwide. The second installment in the series, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” was released this past summer and already has grossed more than $410 million.

About Becker Group
Becker Group, a subsidiary of Viad Corp (NYSE:VVI), is an experiential marketing company with more than fifty years of experience creating immersive, entertaining attractions and brand-based experiences for a wide variety of clients and venues including top consumer brands, movie studios, retail centers, television networks, theme parks, museums and casinos. The award-winning company is headquartered in Baltimore, and has operations in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Miami, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. For more information about venues for “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition,” please contact Lisa O’Keefe, director of venue partnerships, at 201-594-0582 or lokeefe@beckergroup.com.

About The Franklin
Founded in honor of America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. It is dedicated to creating a passion for science by offering new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would dazzle and delight its namesake. For more information, please visit www.fi.edu.

Special thanks to Erin Barrier from The Becker Group for contacting us.