Our homeschool group, BASH, has several field trips each month, with at least one per month appropriate for all ages. Recently, we went on a unique homeschool field trip that was both educational and fun. The Mayan Palace 14 movie theater allowed us to tour their facility, including the projection booth, after watching a movie. There were nearly one hundred people in attendance so it was quite popular and everyone had a great time.
A movie theater tour was a unique homeschool field trip because it had never been done. The idea was sparked when the founders were watching a movie as a family and their children started asking questions about how it all worked behind the scenes. After some online research, they could not find information on available tours. So, BASH contacted the management of Mayan Palace to inquire about setting one up. They were told it had never been done before but it sounded like a good idea and they would try to get permission from the corporate office. They did so and a fun homeschool field trip was born.
The Mayan Palace conducts a summer movie special where people can see a family-friendly movie for free. So, to reduce cost, the theater suggested we come during one of their free movie events and just get their popcorn and drink package for three dollars. Because we had such a large group coming, the theater allowed us entry early so that we could get seats and concessions before the general public was allowed in. We were surprised to find we even got our own theater which made keeping the group together even more convenient. After the movie, How to Train Your Dragon, we waited in the lounge for our tours to start. We broke up into several groups and began the tour.
We went up to the projection room where we were shown the way movies are sent to each projector. Nowadays, it is all digital and is as easy as uploading music to your phone and creating a playlist. We then went into the projection area where we saw how the movies are sent to the screen. The kids got to turn the projector on and off and even got to make some shadow puppets in the projector. The projectionist answered questions and showed us some of the older reel films and explained how it used to be done.
It was a very interesting tour and it was enlightening to see the differences between how movies were shown to the public just a few years ago and how they are shown now. The children liked seeing the magic of the movies and all the lights and action that occur behind the scenes. The Mayan Palace 14 went out of their way to ensure we had a great experience. Hopefully, the positive experience that was enjoyed by all will help pave the way for future homeschool field trips touring the movie theater.