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A High-flying Start to the Summer Season at the Tennessee Aquarium Special Screenings of Blue Angels on Chattanooga’s Largest Screen Begin May 24

May 20, 2024

Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 20, 2024) – Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium – recently voted the country’s Best Aquarium in Newsweek Magazine’s readers’ choice poll – will find plenty of fuel for creating fond family memories on Chattanooga’s riverfront this summer.

The Memorial Day weekend gets off to a flying start with The Blue Angels, an hour-and-a-half 2D documentary about the U.S. Navy’s dazzling aerial unit. This new giant screen adventure roars into IMAX beginning Friday, May 24, with daily screenings at 5 p.m. through Sunday, June 2. Featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the preparation that goes into the Angels’ remarkable feats of aviation and heart-pounding sequences of their formation flights – sometimes no more than 18 inches apart – the film is sure to “wow” viewers of all ages looking for a summer thrill.

Another thrilling offering film begins May 24: Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. It will be screened daily in 2D through June 2 at 7 p.m. The prequel to George Miller’s smash hit Mad Max: Fury RoadFuriosa continues the edge-of-your-seat post-apocalyptic mania that is best suited for a more mature (ages 17+) audience.

The Blue Angels fly in formation in The Blue Angels. (Credit: Amazon Studios)
Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. (Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

A slower-paced yet deeply immersive film takes guests beneath the waves to meet the largest animals ever living on Earth. Blue Whales: Return of the Giants 3D follows two scientific expeditions as they study these gentle giants of the sea. One tracks a high-risk mission to discover a missing population of Blue Whales not seen in more than 50 years, while the other introduces viewers to Dr. Diane Gendron, the “Blue Whale Whisperer” studying the role these whales play in our ocean ecosystems from Mexico’s Gulf of California.

Viewers will get the chance to hear about Dr. Gendron’s research firsthand during an appearance and discussion following a special screening of Blue Whales 3D on Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. Tickets will be available at the IMAX box office.

The Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater will screen Blue Whales in Spanish at 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday in June.

The Tennessee Aquarium will observe special operating hours on Memorial Day Weekend. The facility will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 26. It will also be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day (May 27).

A photograph of a Brook Trout from National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark project is displayed in the Tennessee Aquarium. (Credit: Tennessee Aquarium)

A photograph of a Brook Trout from National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark project is displayed in the Tennessee Aquarium. (Credit: Tennessee Aquarium)

Grinning sharks roam a massive 618,000-gallon saltwater exhibit filled with marine life from the Gulf of Mexico while agile lemurs leap through a living tropical forest just one floor above. Nearby, colorful shiners and dace, swift-swimming Brook Trout, and wide-mouthed Paddlefish are waiting to thrill intrepid adventurers with a keen interest in native wildlife found in the freshwater streams and rivers flowing just outside. Guests might even catch some recently observed spawning behavior by native fishes in the newest Ridges to Rivers gallery.

Yet viewing this incredible wildlife – more than 12,000 animals in total – is just a fraction of the fun to be found during a visit to the Aquarium this year. Peppered throughout the galleries, guests will discover larger-than-life photographs by award-winning National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore.

Sartore is on a quest to document every animal species living in human care at zoos and aquariums worldwide for his Photo Ark project. This 17-year effort to inspire viewers to take action to safeguard endangered species features animals photographed against plain black or white backgrounds using studio lighting. Sartore hopes to build a connection between the viewer and level the playing field to show that all animals are important, from the smallest fish to the largest elephant.

Tennessee Dace, Tennessee Shiners and Saffron Shiners in brilliant breeding coloration swim over a River Chub nest in the large stream exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium. This event is extremely uncommon in aquariums and reflects how realistically the exhibit mimics conditions in the wild.

Colorful Tennessee Dace, Tennessee Shiners and Saffron Shiners spawn on a River Chub nest in the Tennessee Aquarium’s Ridges to Rivers exhibit. (Credit: Tennessee Aquarium)

As visitors venture across the Aquarium Plaza between the facility’s two freshwater and saltwater-focused buildings, they can explore the Pollinator Pathway at the peak of pollinator season. The self-guided experience winds through gardens filled with pollinator-friendly native plants. It features permanent signage describing pollinator behaviors and demonstrating ways to help make your home and garden more pollinator-friendly.

Guests visiting overnight can simplify their planning by booking a stay through one of the Aquarium’s hotel partners at https://tnaqua.org/plan-a-visit/hotels/.

For a complete list of IMAX showtimes and tickets, visit https://tnaqua.org/imax/.

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