The Montgomery City Planetarium is also known as the W.A. Gayle Planetarium. It was built in 1968 and opened the following year in 1969. The planetarium is located in Oak Park across from Jackson Hospital. There have been renovations made to the planetarium which included twenty one slide projectors, a laser disk video projection, a brand new sound system and Laser Light Shows.
Montgomery city Planetarium has more than 200 theater style seats and boasts being one of the largest planetariums in the area between Atlanta and New Orleans. Students from the schools in the area have attended many of the daily shows offered at the facility. There are displays from NASA included in the planetarium.
There are public shows at 3:00 pm Monday through Thursday and one at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Reservations are not required for these performances. The doors to the planetarium will open fifteen minutes before each show. The show will begin promptly and there is no admittance after the show has begun. Admission is four dollars and children under five are free. Seniors over 65 are three dollars.
The planetarium office is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm and Friday from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm. The office can schedule special events like birthday parties, meetings and conferences at the planetarium. School field trips are available Monday through Thursday at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm, and Fridays at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 11:30 am. Each presentation lasts an hour and will include an Educational Astronomy Presentation and a visit to the Discovery Store gift shop. Reservations are necessary for school field trips.
Some of the special events that can be presented at the planetarium are: Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Rainbow which is a laser light show. These usually begin at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. A special Christmas show takes visitors on a journey to discover holiday customs such as the Yule Log, luminaries, Christmas tree lights and the lighting of the Menorah.
Shows that are currently or have been presented in the past are: Ring World, Light Years from Andromeda, Through the Eyes of Hubble, The Voyager Encounters, Larry Cat in Space, A Trip Into Space, Bear Tales And Other Grizzly Stories, Dinosaurs, Stars To Starfish and The Secret Of The Cardboard Rocket.
Other attractions in the Montgomery area include: Hank Williams Museum, Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Old Town Alabama, Civil Rights Memorial, and the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Factory Tour. Also available for visitors to Montgomery are the First White House of the Confederacy, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Guests can stay at Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, Hampton Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn Express, Howard Johnson, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Comfort Inn and Suites, Econo Lodge, Days Inn and Suites, Baymont Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Candlewood Suites, Americas Best Inn and Suites, Best Western and Butterfly Inn Bed and Breakfast.