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Missions Theater Shows

Join us for a show in our Quonset Hut-style theater
Missions Theater

2023 Theater Show Schedule:

9:30    Salute to Heroes*
10:00   Fly Me to the Moon
10:30    Smithsonian Feature Film (Salute to Heroes* when no feature)
11:30     Fly Me to the Moon
Noon   Salute to Heroes*
1:00     Fly Me to the Moon
1:30     Salute to Hereos*
2:00    Smithsonian Feature Film (Fly Me to the Moon when no feature)
3:00    Heroes on Deck*
4:30    Fly Me to the Moon

Theater doors open 5 minutes prior to scheduled showtime. Show capacity is 62 guests which includes accessible seating options. Please note shows begin with a Salute to Heroes showing at 12:40pm on Sundays. 
*Some films may not be suitable for younger audiences, parental discretion is advised. 

Always on in the Missions Theater!

Fly Me to the Moon  - Nat the fly loves listening to his grandfather (voiced by Christopher Lloyd) tell stories of adventures from his youth. Desperate to experience some derring-do of his own, Nat convinces two of his friends to stow away on the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. The high-flying trio have the adventure of a lifetime.  

Heroes on Deck - During World War II, just off Chicago’s shoreline, the US Navy trained over 15,000 carrier pilots on two makeshift “flattops,” both former, coal-fired, side wheel passenger steamers. Not every pilot landed successfully on the pitching decks of the USS Wolverine and USS Sable and many aircraft went to the bottom of the Great Lakes. This is the story of the recovery of those rare warbirds and the ingenious training program that changed the course of the war in the Pacific.   View trailer now!

Salute to Heroes - A highly emotive piece produced especially for the Air Zoo, Salute to Heroes depicts a daring bombing raid by a group of young men during World War II aboard the B-17 Flying Fortress The Kalamazoo Gal. Using computer animation combined with real life actors, the film is a true epic and honorific reflection of a WWII combat mission.

NEW in 2023

Smithsonian Channel features!

As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the Air Zoo has access to the Smithsonian Channel’s award-winning programming on popular topics such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. To make the stories we tell more inclusive, the Air Zoo presents programming that reflects the accomplishments of women, First Nations, people of color, LGBTQIA+, those with disabilities, and other aspects of our diverse local communities. These films may go beyond the scope of aviation, space, and science. 

Watch the calendar or bookmark this theater listing for upcoming features!



March - America's Hidden Stories: Southern Union Women Spies

New evidence supports a Civil War legend that a freed female slave and a society lady in Virginia acted as spies for the Union. (TV-PG)

April - America's National Parks at 100

Visit American icons and little-known treasures as we celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service. (TV-G)

May - Breaking the Sound Barrier

On October 14, 1947, Captain Chuck Yeager accomplished what many thought was impossible: he broke the sound barrier and in doing so, changed aviation history forever. Behind this remarkable achievement was a dedicated team of rocket scientists and engineers, and one incredible plane, a Bell X-1 named "Glamorous Glennis." This is the story of the plane and the people who dared to travel faster than the speed of sound, pushing flight science forward and proving that no matter the barrier, humanity can find a way to break through. (TV-PG)

June (1st - 14th) - With One Voice: Fighting Hatred Together

Laurie Segall hosts as MTV News chronicles the lives of four young Jewish activists on the front lines of the fight against anti-Semitism and hate in all its forms. (TV-14)

June (15th - 30th) - D-Day and the Dambusters

The story how 617 Squadron, the most famous RAF bomber unit of WWII, helped fool Adolf Hitler and his Nazi High Command into believing the Allied invasion of France was going to be nearer Calais than Normandy, by creating a fake invasion fleet with strips of tin foil, called window. (TV-PG)

July - America's Secret Space Hero Saturn V

 It's 1961 and the Soviets are dominating the Space Race. President Kennedy ups the stakes dramatically, giving NASA until the end of the decade to land a man on the moon. Led by Wernher von Braun, engineers across America work together to build a rocket that will get them to this seemingly impossible destination: the Saturn V. This is the remarkable story of the engineers who rose to the challenge to build the most complex and powerful machine ever made by man, and the impact their phenomenal achievements continue to have to this day. (TV-PG)

August - America in Color: Hollywood's Golden Age

The movie industry was born in West Orange, NJ in 1893 by Thomas Edison. Within thirty years, Hollywood grew into America's fourth largest, and by far most glamorous, industry. Revisit the Golden Age of Hollywood, when actors became global celebrities, moguls became millionaires, and the entire nation became movie crazy. Using digitally remastered news footage, rare studio archives, and home movie footage, look back on the dawn and meteoric rise of Tinseltown in color. (TV-PG)

September - Smithsonian Time Capsule: 1968

A military uniform that represents the uniting of American and South Vietnamese forces. The Olympic tracksuit worn by Tommie Smith when he raised a fist in silent protest. The original art by Roy Lichtenstein on his powerful "Gun in America" Time Magazine cover. These are just some of the objects on display at various Smithsonian museums that tell the story of one of the most influential years in American history: 1968. Through these remarkable artifacts, witness a year of courage, revolution, tragedy, and triumph. (TV-PG)

October - Black Hole Hunters

Span the globe as we track the monumental technological undertaking of capturing the first-ever picture of a black hole. (TV-PG)

November - WWII by Drone: Battle for the Skies

From Britain's radar to Germany’s "Wonder Weapons," see how military aviation innovations impacted the outcome of WWII. (TV-14)

December (1st - 31st) - America's Hidden Stories: Pearl Harbor Spies

New evidence is challenging the official story of Pearl Harbor and bringing surprising new enemies into focus. (TV-PG)


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