Futuroscope, or Parc du Futuroscope is a French theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic and audio-visual techniques. It has several 3D cinemas along with other attractions and shows, some of which are the only examples in the world.
It is located in the department of Vienne, 10 kilometres north of Poitiers, on the territory of the communes of Chasseneuil-du-Poitou and Jaunay-Clan.
There were 1.6 million visitors to the park in 2007. There have been a total of 35 million visitors since the park opened in 1987.
- 1984 : 11 December, first stone placed by René Monory, president of the general council of Vienne and father of the project.
- 1987 : 31 May, opens to the public with Kinémax, the Pavillon du Futuroscope and a play zone.
- 1988 : opening of the first Dynamique Cinéma - Monde des Enfants (the world of children) and the Showscan (the first part of the Pavillon de la Communication).
- 1989 : the Cinéma en Relief, the Cinéma 360° and the second part of the Pavillon de la Communication open, offering new spectacles to visitors.
- 1990 : opening of the Omnimax and the Gyrotour. Futuroscope produces its first film in 360° about the Tour de France.
- 1991 : inauguration of Cinéautomate in spring. The park receives its one-millionth visitor.
- 1992 : the Tapis Magique (Magic Carpet) and the Paysages d’Europe (Landscapes of Europe) open.
- 1993 : inauguration of Solido.
- 1994 : opening of Pavillon de la Vienne, a second Dynamique Cinéma and the Aquascope.
- 1995 : celebrating the centenary of cinema, inauguration of the Images Studio.
- 1996 : the IMAX 3D opens and presents Guillaumet, les Ailes du Courage (the Wings of Courage), a fiction in 3D by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The Showscan becomes the Cinéma Haute Résolution (High Resolution Cinema).
- 1997 : Futuroscope celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new evening spectacle, Le Lac aux Images (the Lake with Images). The Cinéautomate becomes Ciné-Jeu (Cinema Game) and Cyber Avenue opens up the Cyberworld to its visitors,. The Pavillon de la Communication presents a film produced by Futuroscope called Les Autoroutes de l’Information (The Motorways of Information).
- 1998: Cyber Avenue expands with Cybermédia offering 1600 m² (17,000 sq ft) of multimedia, Internet and video games. Imagic opens, mixing image with illusion. The Dynamique Cinéma 2 becomes Astratour with a film discovering satellites, produced by Futuroscope.
- 1999: opening of Images du Goût (Images of Taste) and The Workshop of Taste in the Pavillon du Futuroscope.
- 2000: opening of the IMAX 3D simulator: Défi d’Atlantis (the Challenge of Atlantis). In June, the Gare TGV-Futuroscope (Futuroscope's TGV Station) opened with a walkway allowing visitors to reach the heart of the park directly from the station.
- 2001: the inauguration of the new attractions: CyberWorld', OceanOasis, Superstition et Métropole Défi (Metropolis Challenge). On 18 April, Futuroscope welcomed its 25-millionth visitor.
- 2002: opening of Destination Cosmos, a new evening spectacle conceived by Yves Pépin : Le Miroir d’Uranie (the Mirror of Uranie) and two new films: Sur les traces du Panda (on the Track of Pandas) and Plongeurs sans Limite (Divers Without Limits).
- 2003: opening of the attraction La Cité du Numérique (the Digital City); 2 IMAX films: Space Station 3D and Percussions du Monde (Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey); 2 dynamique films: Les mélodies Aquatiques (Aquatic Melodies); and 2 new spectacles: Les Grandes Illusions (The Great Illusions), the Pavillon de la Créativité and an open air photograph exhibition.
- 2004: the season begins with a festival of the best Imax films. Jacques Perrin produces an exclusive new film for Tapis Magique, Voyageurs du Ciel et de la Mer (Travellers by Air and by Sea). Le Rêve d’Icare (Adrenaline Rush) produces new sensations in the Imax cinema.
- 2005: the arrival of many new attractions: Star du Futur! (Star of the Future!); La Légende de l'Etalon Noir (The Legend of the Black Stallion) in the Kinémax; the dynamique film Péril sur Akryls (Danger on Akryls) in Dynamique 1 and Les Yeux Grands Fermés (Journey into the Dark). On the 27th April, the park welcomed its 30-millionth visitor, making it the second most visited theme park in France and the fifth in Europe.
- 2006: a new 3D film opens in Imax 3D, le Seigneur du Ring (Adventures in Animation 3D). This year, the Park is themed as the Year of the Robots, by opening on 5th April with Dances with Robots in the new House of the Robots. A new evening spectacle entitled the Forest of the Dreams also forms part of the theme.
- 2007: two new Imax films, Expédition Nil Bleu (Mysteries of the Nile), Sous les Mers du Monde 3D (Deep Sea 3D), and a new version of the dynamic film La Vienne Dynamique.
- 2008: a new attraction based around the BBC's programme The Future is Wild, a new Omnimax film (Dinosaurs), a new dynamic film (Laponie Express). On the 10th July, the park welcomed its 35-millionth visitor.
Futuroscope currently employs 600 people, including 400 temporary staff.
Stages of the Tour de France cycle race have commenced and finished at the park several times since its opening.
The pavilions of Futuroscope are mainly made up of metal and glass; modern materials which give the buildings form and texture, as works of art that make the observer stand and stare. The design of the pavilions was lead by architect Denis Laming.
- 1987 : le Pavillon du Futuroscope, le Kinémax
- 1988 : le Cinéma Dynamique 1, le Pavillon de la Créativité
- 1989 : le 360°, le Cinéma en Relief (the latter removed in 2004)
- 1990 : l'Omnimax, la Gyrotour
- 1992 : le Tapis Magique
- 1993 : le Solido
- 1994 : le Pavillon de la Vienne, le Cinéma Dynamique 2, l'Aquascope
- 1995 : Images Studio
- 1996 : l’Imax 3D
- 2000 : l'Imax 3D Dynamique, TGV Station
- 2002 : Destination Cosmos (formerly Aquascope)
- 2006 : le Pavillon des Robots
- 2008 : les Animaux du Futur
Most are available to non French speakers via translation headsets, while some are French only and are listed below.
- Expédition Nil Bleu (Mystery of the Nile)
- Laponie Express French Only
- La Cité du Numérique (Digital City) Hands on exhibit
- Danse avec les Robots (Dances with Robots)
- Le Défi d'Atlantis (Race For Atlantis) French Only
- Star du Futur (Star of the Future) French Only
- Sous les Mers du Monde 3D (Deep Sea 3D)
- Les Ailes du Courage (Wings of Courage)
- Dinosaures (Dinosaurs)
- La Gyrotour (The Gyrotour)
- La Citadelle du Vertige (Castle of Giddiness)
- Virtual Worlds - showing:
- Cyberworld A showcase of animation
- Adventure in Animation 3D See how they created 3D computer animation and make it look lifelike.
- Le Meilleur du Dynamique (The Best of Dynamic Cinema)
- Voyageurs du Ciel et de la Mer (Travellers by Air and by Sea) French Only
- Destinations Cosmos
- La Vienne Dynamique (The Dynamic Vienne)
- Le Monde des Enfants (Children's World)
- Cyber Avenue
- Illusions Magiques (Magical Illusions)
- Les Yeux Grands Fermés (Journey into the Dark) French Only
- La Forêt des Rêves (The Forest of Dreams)
- Fantaisie Aquatique (Aquatic Fantasy)
- Les animaux du futur (The future is wild) new for 2008
Restaurants and Shops
The park has eight restaurants and ten restaurations rapides (Illico Resto). There are eight shops, most of which are located at the entrance.