Who Is Roundhouse?

Juan Jacina, Craig McCaw, Allen Miller, Ken Hewitt White, JohnTanner. RH 1988 Tenth Anniversary Photo courtesy Peter Tanner

Orion McCaw Roundhouse Photo

Roundhouse Productions was created when the Vancouver Planetarium’s founding director envisioned a production relationship between the institution and a group of part time and former full time Planetarium people.

Roundhouse Productions Inc. was formed over 30 years ago to produce, promote, and present laser and light shows at the Planetarium as an independent company working in a symbiotic relationship with the society. It continues to this day with a strong and passionate motivation to stay current and contemporary both artistically and technically. Roundhouse is the only Canadian production company designing multiple media, laser, and full dome 360 immersive video shows for continuous run in Planetariums. Our Domed Theater shows and technology advances have been made possible, for decades, only with funding by the people who come to the shows, in other words, by gate receipts alone.

We consist of a core group plus a peripheral group of independent contractors.  These groups have supplied a variety of creative services and all have years of experience and a passion for astronomy, entertainment, and Planetarium production. The group skills consist of Planetarium programmers, presenters, technicians, laserists, laser programmers, audio engineers, Planetarium and TV composers, radio announcers, chart topping musicians, award winning astrophotographers, video editors and producers, a former Planetarium Education Director, television host/producers, and a former Planetarium Executive Director.

All the people in Roundhouse arrived at the Planetarium with a previous love of Astronomy. Several are widely published and have spent many nights in professional observatories around the world. Roundhouse feels that its shows are actually not simply “Laser Shows” and they did run for several of the early years before the addition of a laser. The shows use all the imaging effects available to create a full dome immersive Planetarium experience, and the lasers are just one (important) component.

Four years ago we created Canada’s (and possibly the world’s) first multi camera rig for shooting real-world real-time 4K 360 Fulldome video for Planetarium use.

Roundhouse believes their shows are a valid art form that attracts  a new audience to the Planetarium, thereby assisting in the operation of the infrastructure required to communicate astronomy.

The Roundhouse core group has also produced shows that have run for years at the Edmonton Space  Science Centre, Vancouver’s Science World, for many corporate clients, and several pavilions at Expo 86.