Rain Damages Film Collection at Science Center

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The Science Center of Iowa says flooding has closed its Blank IMAX Dome Theater until further notice, and also caused significant damage to its film collection.

Rainwater fell from the ceiling of the theater and hit the large format films. The Science Center has approximately 44 titles that have been collected over the years. It's unclear at this point how many of those films have been damaged beyond repair.

"Ironically, our underwater films are our most popular," said Curt Simmons, President & CEO. "So Oceans was off to a great start. We had a great film about Panda, and one of the most successful films that we've had here ever was about the national parks. And those are all likely damaged films."

The Science Center is still assessing the damage and fortunately has insurance to help cover any losses. But replacing the films that were ruined won't be cheap.

"We're one of only about 18 dome, film theaters left in the country," said Simmons. "So this is just not a product that's made off the shelf, out of a laboratory in a number of locations. It's a very, very specialized product."

Because film is becoming a rarity and there are only a couple labs left that still print it, Simmons says the cost of producing a copy of each documentary is about $20,000.