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Giant-Screen Theater

Please Note: On Tuesday, April 22, the final film of the day will be "Dinosaurs Alive! 3D" at 3:30PM.

Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater

Welcome to The Downing 3D Experience, the largest Dolby® 3D theater for a museum in California! Visitors to the San Diego Natural History Museum will be dazzled by the latest in digital 3D technology that delivers a premium viewing experience from anywhere in the 300-seat, stadium-style theater.

All film times subject to change daily. Assistive Listening Devices for films and lectures in the Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater are available at the Visitor Services Desk.

Giant-screen theater included with paid admission. The 3D theater is included with Passports to Balboa Park, Go San Diego Cards and for members of the San Diego Natural History Museum. Tickets are available at the Visitor Services Desks at the Museum.

The Downing 3D Experience in the Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater is sponsored by John and Tracy Downing, the Downing Family Foundation, the Eleanor and Jerry Navarra Family, Jerome’s Furniture, and Stephen Cohen, President, Private Asset Management, Inc.

Theater Schedule

11 AM
Great White Shark 3D
20 minutes

12 PM
Ocean Oasis 2D
40 minutes

1 PM
Dinosaurs Alive! 3D
20 minutes

1:45 PM
Great White Shark 3D
20 minutes

2:30 PM
Ocean Oasis 2D
40 minutes

3:30 PM
Dinosaurs Alive! 3D
20 minutes

4:15 PM
Great White Shark 3D
20 minutes

Movie Trailers

Great White Shark 3D

Watch trailer for Great White Shark 3D

Great White Shark unravels the mystery of the creature we love to fear—the much maligned, misrepresented and misunderstood great white shark—and goes to the depths of human daring to tell the true story of its role atop the oceanic food chain. Three years in the making, the film takes viewers around the world to get an up-close and personal look at this iconic predator. Great White Shark examines what we know about these incredible animals through the eyes of several people whose lives and work have become inextricably linked to the great white. 

  • From March 1st, 2014 To December 31st, 2014

Dinosaurs Alive!

Watch trailer for Dinosaurs Alive!

Dinosaurs Alive! is a global adventure of science and discovery featuring the entire age of dinosaurs—from the earliest creatures of the Triassic period to the monsters of the Jurassic and Cretaceous—as they are reawakened on the giant screen in the eye-popping 3D format. Narrated by Michael Douglas, the film takes audiences on a journey with the world’s preeminent dinosaur hunters as they uncover evidence that the descendants of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. Through the magic of scientifically accurate computer generated animation, these newly uncovered creatures, and some familiar favorites, come alive…in a big way.

Major funding was provided by the National Science Foundation with additional support from the Museum Film Network, and the 3D Film Interest Group.

  • From June 1st, 2013 To June 30th, 2014

Ocean Oasis

Watch trailer for Ocean Oasis

Take a fascinating journey into two remarkably different, but inextricably linked worlds—Mexico’s Sea of Cortés and the Baja California desert. Ocean Oasis , a giant-screen film, mesmerizes audiences as they witness the beauty of life in Baja California's rich waters and seemingly barren land. Note: Ocean Oasis is a 2D film.Produced by the San Diego Natural History Museum, Summerhays Films, and PRONATURA A.C., with sponsorship from Sempra Energy. Winner of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and the International Wildscreen Film Festival.

  • From January 1st, 2005 To December 31st, 2020