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Unravel an ancient mystery on a grand scale with
MUMMIES: SECRETS OF THE PHARAOHS opening at the Museum of Discovery and Science Blockbuster® IMAX® Theater on Friday, March 30, 2007.

A Mystery 3,000 Years in the Making!

March 19, 2007, Fort Lauderdale– Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs brings to life ancient wonders, historic intrigue and a modern-day forensic adventure, all in one eye-popping new giant screen film premiering the Blockbuster IMAX® Theater on March 30, 2007.

Why are people endlessly fascinated with mummies? The worldwide curiosity about mummification is an age-old phenomenon as enduring as mummies themselves. During Egypt's history, literally millions of mummies were made. For audiences, these mummies are windows into ancient Egypt's past. In Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, filmgoers will marvel at the sight of these human time capsules, shown in larger-than-life detail on the seven-story screen.

Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs unravels some of the mysteries enshrouding the ancient royal mummies, how they were embalmed and where they were hidden, and also recreates the dramatic story of their recovery—an Indiana Jones-type tale of tomb-raiders and hidden treasure that led to one of the most significant archaeological finds in modern history. Featuring top researchers, such as Egyptologists Dr. Bob Brier and Dr. Zahi Hawass (head of Egypt's antiquities) and DNA scientist Angelique Corthals, the film also embarks on a genetic analysis of mummies that could have huge implications for the study of modern human diseases.

Filmed by award-winning director Keith Melton (Mystic India, Cirque du Soleil) and renowned cinematographer Reed Smoot (Mysteries of Egypt, Mystic India, Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure), Mummies features breathtaking scenes of natural beauty and stunning locations combined with incredible CGI sequences, lavish sets and period recreations that immerse viewers in different eras of Egyptian history.

IMAX cameras capture sweeping images of the swirling desert sand dunes and dramatic rocky cliffs of the Northern Sahara. Audiences will also experience the real wonders of Egypt at key historic sites—including the Valley of the Kings, Giza, Karnak, Luxor, Abydos, Abu Simbel, and archaeological digs at Saqqara—where they will see the colossal temples, pyramids, statues, obelisks, tombs, murals, and other architectural and artistic feats honoring Egypt's most prolific pharaohs.

Produced by Giant Screen Films and Gravity Pictures, in association with The Franklin Institute and the Museum of Science, Mummies takes viewers on a journey back thousands of years, to the age of the great pharaohs, to explore why mummification was so vital to ancient Egyptian life.

Surprisingly, the techniques and ingredients used for mummifying have only been pieced together in the last 15 years, after a 2,000-year memory lapse. As the film points out, the Egyptians faithfully recorded nearly everything. But, strangely, no records have been found about how they embalmed their dead, a secret that remained lost until Dr. Brier painstakingly gathered the surviving clues from a variety of sources.

The film then leaps ahead to the 1800s, when code breakers set off a new worldwide wave of Egypt mania by cracking the Rosetta Stone--enabling them to read and understand the hieroglyphs and markings inscribed on ancient Egyptian architecture and artifacts. In the 3,000 years prior, not even one pharaoh had ever been found. Mummies then dramatically recreates the incredible events surrounding the late 19th century discovery of a cache of 40 royal mummies, including 12 Kings of Egypt, in a single tomb. Among them were three of the greatest pharaohs that ever lived: the legendary Rameses the Great—considered to be the pharaoh of the Exodus and perhaps the only face the world can see from the Bible—his father Seti I, and his son. Believed by many to be the ultimate archaeological find, it was uncovered a full four decades before Howard Carter found the intact tomb of the boy-king, Tutankhamen.

Interwoven throughout the film's historic narrative is a modern-day forensic story, a scientific journey to extract clues about our past that could have an impact on our future. More than a decade ago, Dr. Brier and a colleague used the clues he had assembled to perform the first human mummification in the Egyptian style since the time of the pharaohs. Now, in the film, he and a DNA specialist check in on the progress of that modern mummy and conduct key genetic testing. For two decades, scientists have tried without success to extract usable long DNA strands from Egyptian mummies. The forensic aspect of the film includes a scientific first—a discovery that could help researchers understand how ancient diseases have evolved into modern-day counterparts. Perhaps the DNA held in mummies like Rameses will be able help to cure people today.

"Mummies are like little encyclopedias, but you have to know how to read them," says Dr. Brier. "We can find out an awful lot about the ancient Egyptians—how they lived, what they ate, how they died--and about ancient disease, just by studying one mummy. They're crucial to medical science."

The mummies of Egypt's pharaohs have meant different things over the centuries. For the ancients they were a source of hope for the afterlife; for the tomb-robbers, a source of wealth; for scholars, a source of knowledge, and for researchers, a source of genetic evidence that could advance medical science. For today's filmgoers, these mummies are a source of educational entertainment for the whole family that can be experienced in the incomparable large format.


Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs is a production of Giant Screen Films and Gravity Pictures, in association with The Franklin Institute and the Museum of Science. The film is directed by award-winning large-format veteran Keith Melton (Cirque du Soleil, Mystic India) with cinematography by Reed Smoot (Mysteries of Egypt, Mystic India). Support for the film was provided by the U.S. Dome Theater Alliance. The film is distributed by Giant Screen Films of Evanston, IL.

Opening Weekend Activities – Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs March 31 – April 2
  • Pharaoh Hound
    March 31, 2007 from Noon – 4:00 p.m.
    Visit with a Pharaoh hound, a dog breed that dates back to Ancient Egypt. The owner will be available for questions and answers.
  • Mummy Coffin Crafts
    March 31 – April 2, 2007 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Egyptian Kings, called Pharaohs decorated their mummies with Pharaoh Death Masks. Join us at the Science Café where you can make your own Pharaoh Death Mask and build a Sarcophagus that will protect your mummy during its journey to immortality.
  • Pyramid Mysteries
    March 31 – April 2, 2007 at 3:30 p.m.
    How and why did the ancient Egyptians build the Great Pyramids? And what role did the Nile River play in their construction? Experiment with friction and inclined planes, and face the same challenges as the early Egyptians when building the pyramids.
  • Animals of Egypt
    March 31 – April 2, 2007 at 1:30 p.m.
    What adaptations allow animals to survive in the seemingly inhospitable desert environment? Learn about desert animals, and participate in demonstrations that illustrate the scientific reasons why desert animals can walk on the hot desert sand.
  • Tomb Robbers: Secrets of Mummification
    March 31 – April 2, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
    Explore an ancient undiscovered tomb at MODS with our brave and fearless Science Explorer and watch an unfortunate Museum visitor get mummified right before your eyes. Learn about ancient Egyptian culture and discover how Egyptians preserved their dead during this fun and interactive science demonstration about mummies

The mission of the Museum of Discovery and Science is to provide experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs and films. Founded in 1976 as The Discovery Center, the nonprofit facility served approximately 450,000 visitors last year. Major operational support for the Museum is provided through generous support by Leadership Guild members including: City Furniture, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Sun-Sentinel and Wachovia.

The Museum is open seven days a week, 365 days a year; Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. with extended IMAX® hours most evenings. General Admission prices are $15 for adults; $14 for seniors; $12 for children 2 to 12. Children under 2 are free. A General Admission Ticket includes admission to the Museum exhibits and one classic IMAX® film. The Museum of Discovery and Science is located downtown at 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For more information about the Museum, visitors should call 954.467.MODS (6637)


The Blockbuster® IMAX®Theater-owned and operated by the Museum of Discovery and Science, opened in 1992. The 300-seat theater is a showcase of state-of-the-art motion picture technology. The Blockbuster® IMAX®Theater features a 60 ft. x 80 ft. screen and a 15,000 watt digital sound system that delivers six discrete channels of clear sound through 42 speakers. The IMAX® projector's 15,000 watt Xenon bulb projects images of unsurpassed brilliance and clarity onto the five-story-high screen. Both 2D and 3D films are shown in the theater. 3D films are viewed using new lightweight XR 3D glasses. The IMAX® experience is an unparalleled fusion of sight and sound. For show times call 954.463.IMAX (4629).
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Museum of Discovery and Science / Blockbuster IMAX Theater - 401 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale FL 33312. Phone 954-467-6637
Museum of discovery and Science, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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