Former OCC Novin’s Planetarium Minolta projector featured in ‘La La Land’
The star projector featured in La La Land's planetarium scene is the same one that once called the Robert J. Novin's Planetarium at Ocean County College home for 27-years.
"It's a Minolta, two-b machine designed for medium sized planetariums," said Phil Zollner, Program Presenter at the Novins Planetarium.
Around 2008 expensive mechanical problems occurred with the projector and the school nearly threw it out before donating it to a California museum.
"It's been used, as I understand not just in La La Land, but also two or three television programs," said Zollner.
The planetarium dance scene in the film displays the Minolta projector whose own life took twists and turns by going from the Novins Planetarium, to the trash, to La La Land.
"I assume they have many projectors and they chose that one (for the film)," said Zollner.
Excitement was also present on campus after students and staff became aware of the projectors presence on the big screen, and that one scene was shown at a recent astronomy club meeting on campus.
"We actually did see a brief clip from the movie showing one of the scenes with that projector," said Zollner.
Outside of expensive repairs needed to the actual projector, the school back in 2008 was forced to make a tough decision regarding the state of the planetarium.
"That the planetarium was not serving the needs of the students of Ocean County College and it was running in the 'red' financially," said Zollner.
The planetarium eventually stayed afloat through fundraising efforts and the Minolta projector narrowly avoided a home in the trash with a home in a California museum where it still rests on permanent display.
The Minolta projector was originally installed at the opening of the Novins Planetarium in the Mid-1970's.
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