The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The Laser Floyd show at the Fujitsu Planetarium

An audio and visual feast that allows Generation X share the lysergic experience of their adolescence with their children without having to explain what lysergic means
Joshua Hascall
Yin Nwe, 21, biology major chats on her phone between classes in front of the Fujitsu Planetarium on May 9.

The planetarium’s laser show has always been a rumored place for great first dates and a place to go after partaking in mind-altering substances. The many clouds of smoke and coughing teens in the parking lot, and couples holding hands and smiling at each other in line at the door seemed to suggest the rumors were indeed true.

Sound engineer Mike Dirubio, 64, is a long-time Laser Floyd show attendee.

“We used to come here so long ago that substances that are legal now were illegal back then. Those were good times,” Dirubio said, giving confirmation to the rumors.

Tonight was indeed the night for the Fujitsu Planetarium’s Laser Floyd show, which featured Pink Floyd’s album: “Dark Side of the Moon.”

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Located behind the Science Center building on the De Anza campus, the planetarium is a small but impressive building that features an immersive theater with a 50-foot domed screen, 139 seats and a digital 6.2 surround sound system.

This evening’s visitors entered into the main theater and parked their posteriors into the reclined seats that were specially made for easy viewing of the domed roof. Newcomers seemed to be wondering what was to come next while the returning patrons wore wide smiles and appeared to glow with anticipation.

The show began and Pink Floyd’s album, “Dark Side of the Moon”, blared through the speakers and a beautiful array of colored lasers began emanating from the giant globe in the center of the theater. The smoke machine activated with a gentle hiss, making a subtle mist resembling the San Francisco Bay’s infamous fog.

The show swiftly progressed as the visuals corresponded to each well-known song; from ancient Egypt to money-themed — matching the song “Money.” The song “Dark Side of the Moon” was a high-water mark of the show, as moving spirals and planets were rushing through time and space while powerful lasers displayed the most vivid colors known in the visual spectrum.

The visual experience as a whole was reminiscent of what it must be like to be created: being in the womb and finally being expelled into the world, represented by the spiral that faded into a warm, red glow that enveloped the entire domed ceiling.

The soundtrack, which could be considered one of the greatest psychedelic rock albums of all times, takes a viewer from the most esoteric parts of ancient Egyptian culture, up and around to the dark side of the moon and back down to Mother Earth.

Before the show ended, presentation specialist Mariah Pandy, who hosts events at the planetarium, announced one more encore song before the theater closed for the evening.

“I will give you one more song, but after that, you need to run like hell,” Pandy said. The audience expressed gratitude for the final act with cheers and claps.

San Jose resident Sumika Oki, 47, attended the show for the first time.

“I saw forms and shapes, which gave me many ideas. I thought I could see so many patterns inside of patterns,” Oki said.

Oki was not aware of the popularity of the Pink Floyd album but expressed her enjoyment nonetheless.

“I did not know the album was a famous album, but I think (the laser show) can go well with many types of songs,” she said.

Oki came with a friend while Dirubio attended the show with his family, who were waiting patiently for him in the parking lot while he chatted about old times at the planetarium with some of the friendly staff.

“I still love it. My family loves it,” he said.

Pandy previously worked at NASA as an education specialist before joining the Planetarium staff six years ago.

“I love it; it is my dream job,” Pandy said.

Pandy said continued support of the planetarium comes from the interest of students as well as the public.

Pandy also spoke about the three educational presentations the planetarium gives in the afternoons, as well as the entertaining music laser shows in the evening. The evening shows include the classic Laser Floyd show as well as the very popular and continuously sold-out Taylor Swift Lazer show.

“The planetarium is an amazing resource that needs to be known about and supported,” Pandy said.

The goal of any educational institution is to stimulate the imagination by making education stimulating and intriguing. De Anza’s planetarium and the shows hosted there have remained popular for one simple reason: they are fun.

Planetarium shows are offered to the public most Saturdays, October through May.

Any questions can be directed to [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Joshua Hascall
Joshua Hascall, Copy Editor
I enjoy letting my fingers dance upon the keyboard until something fun and interesting come out! I hope to be able to write entertaining, humorous and often provocative editorials on a wide array of subjects.

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