Hardin Planetarium to present Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ 50th anniversary show


Arthur H. Trickett-Wile

The Hardin Planetarium is seen Thursday, March 23, 2023 on the WKU campus in Bowling Green, Ky.

Alexandria Anderson, Editor-in-Chief

The Hardin Planetarium at WKU will have a new addition to its weekly shows for the next nine months – one dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” album.

The show, entitled “Pink Floyd ‘The Dark Side of the Moon:’ 50 Years in a Heartbeat,” will play at 8 p.m. every other Friday. It is planned to begin on July 14, and if that date is met, another showing will be on July 15. 

Chris Chandler, the planetarium specialist, said since the album has always had an association with planetariums, it is fitting that a show was developed for its 50th anniversary.


“Before the song was written, before the album was even released, it was initially played in a planetarium,” Chandler said. “They [Pink Floyd] were inspired by planetariums and the accessibility of something that had never been accessible. They were thrilled by that and they feel like it probably influenced some of the ways they record.”

The show will feature video visuals on the dome screen of the planetarium set to the entire “The Dark Side of the Moon” album. It was created by a team from the International Planetarium Society, which developed it to be different from a typical laser light show based on the album.

Chandler said the planetarium chose the show because of this unique quality. He said something the planetarium looks for when occasionally purchasing shows is a combined entertaining and educational experience.

“Because for us, we’re not merely an educational place, we’re not merely an entertainment place,” Chandler said. “We believe in the fusion. And if any show doesn’t really accomplish both, too bad. This one is the only example of this kind of thing where it feels like it actually accomplishes both. That’s when we bid on this one.”

The planetarium hosts free shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. year-round. This special showing, however, will have a ticket cost of $15, with discounts for WKU students, faculty and staff. Chandler did not specify the cost of the show purchase, but stated it was a “considerable investment in this community.”

Hardin Planetarium is the only planetarium location within 500 miles to show this, since it is only available to planetariums until April 2024, making it difficult to recoup costs. Because of this, Chandler said the planetarium will potentially see guests from multiple states away.

“For us, we see it as an opportunity, because we saw so few other planetariums weren’t going to bother to try,” Chandler said. 

Even while this show might require more background knowledge to understand, Chandler hopes that viewers take away a better understanding and questions about the show.

“I hope that there are those that walk up to me and say, ‘what was that, that thing that we saw?’ and other science questions,” Chandler said. “Questions are just as useful as somebody walking out of here thinking they got something right.”

Chandler said visitors in and out of Bowling Green will be interested in the show, since it will allow them an audiovisual experience with a familiar album.

“There are loads of people who would love to come and experience an album they probably heard many times before, but with others […],” Chandler said. “That is the experience that we’re trying to create, and that’s what drew our attention, that it was a company that doesn’t do this very often.”

Editor-in-chief Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].