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Spooktacular Halloween Laser Light Show


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It’s a full house on top and down below. Stars gathered across every inch of the high domed ceiling of De Anza College’s Fujitsu Planetarium. On the ground, audience members filled every seat; their heads tilted up at the stars in anticipation. They are waiting for the Spooktacular Halloween Laser show, eager for an early Halloween fix.

This Halloween themed feat of laser neon graphics, in constant motion and tailored to a vibrant mix of Halloween and popular music is a rocking 50 minute show you won’t want to miss. It’s funny, psychedelic and bold.

The show runs every Saturday evening before Halloween with four shows offered each night at the planetarium on campus. You can purchase tickets in advance, online or at the door, but make sure to come early to get seats.

On Saturday, Oct.14 before the 8 p.m. show, families piled in with children and teens. A planetarium employee gave a brief introduction and encouraged the audience saying, “Cheer for the director! Be loud! The 6:30 p.m. showing was too quiet!”

Robert Pickford, the director, spoke of the difference between this show and other non-holiday themed shows; audience participation encouraged.

The stars disappeared as the grand tunes of Mozart’s Requiem begin. Cartoon-like characters outlined in neon appeared. After a brief entrance, the show transitioned to Ghostbusters chasing ghosts as the Ghostbusters’ theme song started to play.

In addition to Halloween themed caricatures and music, the laser show included several songs featuring rotating psychedelic images. One song had strings of different neon-colored lines moving in differing patterns like the ones shown on a heartbeat monitor. The waves moved fast or slow based on the rhythm of the song, a colorful visual representation of song beats.

Other songs played alongside visuals of a short story or resembled a MTV music video.

Ellie Weigand, who came with her Girl Scout Troupe of eighth graders from San Jose really enjoyed the show and especially liked the neon lizards in sombrero’s rocking out to “Hot, Hot, Hot” by Buster Poindexter. Resembling an 80’s MTV music video, the lizards were joined by a group of spicy jalapenos with angry faces that appeared and disappeared.

Towards the end of the show, the music halted though scrawled out neon lines continued to move across the ceiling into something unidentifiable. “Is this the end?” murmured several audience members.

“Encore! Encore! Encore!” shouted the Girl Scout Troupe.

And encore we got.

For the most part, the show was more funny and action-oriented than scary. Though Bay Area resident,

Ritesh Chopra’s son admitted, “I liked the show, but it was a little scary,” and despite the haunting ghost images and threatening horseman figure, the Chopra family enjoyed the planetarium show and plan on coming back in the future.

The laser show was also packed with a multitude of other interesting and fun graphics and songs from “Monster Mash” to “People Are Strange”. So come check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

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