In the more than 30 years Gregg Williams has been director of the Merrillville Community Planetarium, one program with a feline theme still remains his favorite.
"Larry, Cat in Space" is a 35-minute story with a star-studded spin about Larry, a curious cat whose human friend Diane is sent to a base on the moon to study lunar geology. Her pet is miserable until he gets an idea to stow away in her trunk and join her on the moon.
"I first saw this program when I was at a planetarium conference a dozen years ago and loved it, which is why I purchased it as a program for us to feature," Williams said.
"But it's been about a decade since the last time it was shown here."
"Larry, Cat in Space" returns starting 7:30 p.m. July 13, with repeat presentations on Fridays and Saturdays July 20, 21, 27 and 28 at the Merrillville Community Planetarium, located at Clifford Pierce Middle School, 199 East 70th Ave. in Merrillville. Doors for the showing open 30 minutes prior and parking and entrance are located on the west side of the building.
Williams said "Larry, Cat in Space" is a family program for all ages.
"We always open our gift shop on show nights and with weather permitting, guests can also enjoy the outdoor observing sessions that follow the program," he said.
And even for audiences who might recall having seen the program a decade ago, Williams said this return includes a technology update.
"When we first purchased and showed the program, it was entirely a slide show," he said.
"But in 2006, we converted our space to become digital and we have transferred this program to the new technology and now it's a combination of still images and some simulated animation. And even better, now it fills our entire screen space."
"Larry, Cat in Space" is produced by Loch Ness Productions and is suitable for grades K through 3.