The Buehler Planetarium will reopen in 2024.

History of the Buehler Planetarium

The Buehler Planetarium opened in 1965 thanks to a donation from Emil Buehler. Thursday mornings were reserved for school groups, who received free shows. They did monthly illustrated lectures, and the topics ranged from Meteor Showers to The Star of Bethlehem to Fossil Fuels. The planetarium specialists helped build special effects and the projectors were all manually controlled. The staff also included a part-time artist.

The planetarium closed for renovation in 1985. During this time, a portable planetarium was purchased to continue serving local schools. As part of the renovation, the Buehler Trust purchased a new planetarium projector, the Zeiss M1015, which was one of only three in the United States.

In January 1988, the planetarium installed an extensive automation system from Sky-Skan. Later that year, the Buehler Planetarium reopened with a full staff: director, assistant director, producer, secretary, an education coordinator, and a planetarium technician.

When it reopened in September 1988, the planetarium was producing weekly student shows and public shows every weekend. These included both a children's show and general public shows, with star observation after the Friday and Saturday evening shows.

Due to demand public shows were added on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. The planetarium was in operation seven days a week. For one year, there was an additional technical director. In 2000, with the exit of the director, the assistant director was put in charge and was able to add two technicians. The focus was directed to be on serving the college at any time, and do school shows and public shows.

In 2002, the Buehler Observatory was built as an addition to the planetarium. In 2005, the planetarium shifted to digital projection, and in 2012, the two 4K projectors were installed.

The Buehler Planetarium has been closed since 2020 but will reopen in 2024.

A little bit of history

The tabs below include some of the local media history around the Buehler Planetarium.