Butterflies are universally known for their beauty and life cycle but they are so much more in the science community. To share this knowledge and foster butterfly conservation, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center 3D IMAX® Theater will feature for several months the newly produced SK film “Flight of the Butterflies” in 3D.
The film immerses audiences in a triumphant journey of perseverance that spans thousands of miles and several generations -- tracking real monarch butterflies to their mysterious Mexican winter haven where audiences will discover a truly spectacular sight: hundreds of millions of REAL live butterflies in one of the most amazing places on Earth!
“Flight of the Butterflies” is an awe-inspiring adventure of two unlikely heroes that share a common strength. Based on the true story, the film follows the epic journey of the iconic monarch butterfly, one of the most incredible migrations on Earth, and the determined scientist, Dr. Fred Urquhart, who spent 40 years trying to discover the mysteries surrounding their journey and secret winter hideaway.
What began with a small boy daydreaming about where butterflies went each winter became a lifelong pursuit that ingeniously enlisted the help of legions of volunteers, known as “citizen scientists,” to help with tagging and tracking the butterflies in a decades-long quest that yielded the ultimate discovery of the monarch butterflies’ overwintering sites in the sanctuaries of Mexico.
The first citizen scientists in Mexico to be tapped by Urquhart, American Ken Brugger and his Mexican wife Catalina Aguado, spent two years searching in the mountains west of Mexico City under Dr. Urquhart’s guidance before finally making the discovery that graced the cover of National Geographic magazine in August 1976, featuring an iconic image of Catalina covered with and surrounded by thousands of colorful monarchs. The only surviving member of the original discovery team, Catalina was on hand as an advisor and accompanied the SK Films production team to the site during filming on location.
Through breathtaking Giant Screen / IMAX® technology audiences are transported into the tiny world of one intrepid creature – Dana (Danaus Plexippus) – and her off-spring as they migrate north from Mexico through the U.S. to Canada and back south again to the breathtaking hidden butterfly sanctuaries set 10,000 feet high in the mountains of the States of Michoacán and Mexico.
Significant portions of the film’s box office revenue will go towards monarch butterfly conservation through Mexico’s leading conservation organization, Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza.
Virginia Aquarium 3D IMAX® Theater
Current film offerings and schedules are available at www.virginiaaquarium.com or by calling 385-FISH. Beginning April 1, “Under the Sea 3D” and “Flight of the Butterflies” runs daily.