Wilderness North Carolina Premieres at First High-Definition Theater in the Southeast


March 24, 2000
For more information, contact
Susan Dahlin, 919-790-5720

Nancy Walters,
Museum of Natural Sciences,

Wilderness North Carolina Premieres at First High-Definition Theater in the Southeast

Raleigh, NC — The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences premiered its first original movie -and the stars acted like real animals. The high-definition large-format presentation, Wilderness North Carolina, features North Carolina critters in action from birds to frogs to otters. The movie was shown for gala guests in the new Museum’s WRAL Digital Theater. It is the first high-definition system in North Carolina or in a museum. The new Museum opens to the public with a 24-hour celebration on April 7 and 8; Wilderness North Carolina will be shown during the opening.

Funded by Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. (CBC), the movie captures the most beautiful wild areas and animals in the state. The Emmy Award-winning documentary team, Nina Szlosberg and Art Howard of NAPRO Communications, spent more than 50 days with Museum naturalist Mike Dunn, capturing images in 40 North Carolina counties. “Children and adults will be really captivated by this movie,” said Museum Director Betsy Bennett. “It’s a chance to see amazing native animals up close with HD technology.”

On the coldest day of 1999, the production team captured hawks, shorebirds, and ducks at Lake Mattamuskeet. The movie shows a loggerhead sea turtle laying her eggs at the ocean’s edge. Other highlights include the birth of an American oyster catcher on Battery Island, Mount Mitchell covered in 14 inches of freshly fallen snow, and black bears at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. A surround-sound audio track immerses the viewer in these amazing wildlife scenes. Recalling the din of gray tree frog breeding season, Dunn said, “The sounds were so deafening, it took hours for the ringing in our ears to go away.” Music by composer Philip Glass also is woven throughout Wilderness North Carolina.

The high-definition presentation will be shown free of charge daily in the new Museum. The movie will show Monday to Friday at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 and 3 p.m.; Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1:30 p.m. It’s the only museum in the Southeast where the public can view this remarkable advancement in cinematography. Wilderness North Carolina is the first in a series of original, high definition presentations planned by the Museum and CBC.

Capitol Broadcasting president and digital pioneer Jim Goodmon has led the nation in exploration of HDTV, with his flagship station WRAL-TV in Raleigh signing on as the nation’s first television station to broadcast in HDTV. A $500,000 donation from his companies, Capitol Broadcasting Company, WRAL-Digital, and the Fletcher Foundation made the WRAL Digital Theater possible.

The North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications, and educational programming. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., 12 noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bill Holman, Secretary.

Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL-Digital, WRAL-FM, Microspace, the North Carolina News Network, DTV Plus, Wolfpack Sports Marketing, and Capitol Sports Management in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WFVT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and the Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, NC; and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball Club in Myrtle Beach, SC; Capitol Broadcasting Company also founded Local TV on Satellite in Raleigh, NC.

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