Best of both galaxies coming to Rangos Giant Cinema

Contributed ON THE MOON — Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon in an image from the film “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition.”

PITTSBURGH — Humanity’s greatest adventure and cinema’s best sci-fi saga on Pittsburgh’s largest screen — the Rangos Giant Cinema at Carnegie Science Center — will take moviegoers far beyond Earth this summer to other worlds of the fact and fiction varieties.

On Friday, the Rangos will launch “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition,” a special giant-screen version, made exclusively for science centers and museum theaters, of director Todd Miller’s critically acclaimed theatrical documentary “Apollo 11.” The film will play throughout the summer as part of the science center’s Summer of Space, a series of events and programs celebrating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing.

Created from a newly discovered trove of never-before-seen 70 mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” puts audiences at the center of NASA’s historic lunar landing. Miller and his team crafted the film entirely from archival materials. As the team was working closely with NASA and the National Archives to locate all existing Apollo 11 footage, NARA staff members made a discovery that changed the course of the project: An unprocessed collection of 70 mm large-format footage, never before seen by the public, containing stunning shots of the launch, the inside of mission control, and recovery and post-mission activities. The other unexpected find was a massive cache of audio recordings that captured individual tracks from 60 key mission personnel throughout every moment of the mission.

Because outer space is universally appealing, the Rangos will show pop culture’s most beloved space opera at the end of June. Available to theaters for a limited time for the first time in more than 20 years, the three original “Star Wars” films will be shown June 26-30. The iconic trio of films has captivated generations of sci-fi fans and will appear bigger, bolder and better on the massive screen. It’s a chance for lifelong fans to marvel at the groundbreaking films on the city’s biggest screen, for new fans to see the films as they were meant to be seen and for generations of Jedi knights to share the Force with a younger generation.

The lineup includes:

¯ “Star Wars: A New Hope,” 7 p.m. June 26 at 7 p.m.; 11 a.m. June 29-30. In the groundbreaking first “Star Wars” film, Luke Skywalker joins forces with Jedi knight Obi-wan Kenobi; suave pilot Han Solo; Chewbacca the lovable Wookiee; and Hollywood’s most-beloved droids — C-3PO and R2-D2, to save the galaxy from the Empire’s world-destroying battle station, while attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

¯ “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” 7 p.m. June 27; 2 p.m. June 29-30. “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” picks up three years after the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” following Luke Skywalker as he starts Jedi training with Yoda. Meanwhile, his comrades are pursued by the ruthless Darth Vader.

¯ “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” 7 p.m. June 28; 5 p.m. June 29-30. “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” sees the beloved crew of Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Chewy, C-3PO and R2-D2 embark on another quest to save the galaxy … and each other. After a daring mission to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor’s trap.

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