Merle Hay Mall Cinema offers coupons to upcoming dinosaur exhibit
See "Night at the Museum" and receive discount to "Hatching the Past"

For immediate release December 20, 2006


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) –Beginning Friday, moviegoers who see “Night at the Museum” at the Merle Hay Mall Cinema will receive a coupon to “Hatching the Past: The Great Dinosaur Egg Hunt,” a new exhibit that opens next month at the State Historical Museum.

The coupon will be good for $1 off the regular admission to “Hatching the Past,” which runs January 20 to May 7, 2007 at the Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Admission to the exhibit is $5 for adults, free for children 2 and under and State Historical Society of Iowa members. Admission to the Historical Museum remains free. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information. The Merle Hay Mall Cinema is at 3800 Merle Hay Road, behind the Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines. Visit or call 515-252-0804 for more information.

“This is a wonderful example of how two cultural venues can work together to offer Iowans different experiences that revolve around a common thread,” said Anita Walker, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “We are very grateful to Merle Hay Mall Cinema for supporting the State Historical Museum. I encourage Iowans to see the movie, get the coupon and come to the Historical Museum.”

“Night at the Museum” stars Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Bill Cobbs, Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney. It is the story of good-hearted dreamer Larry Daley (Stiller) who, despite being perpetually down on his luck, thinks he’s destined for something big. But even he could never have imaged how “big” when he accepts what appears to be a menial job as a graveyard-shift security guard at a museum of natural history.

During Larry’s watch, extraordinary things begin to occur: Mayans, Roman Gladiators and cowboys emerge from their diorama to wage epic battles; in his quest for fire, a Neanderthal burns down his own display; Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) pillages his neighboring exhibits, and a T-Rex reminds everyone why he’s history’s fiercest predator.

Amidst the chaos, the only person Larry can turn to for advice is a wax figure of President Theodore Roosevelt (Williams), who helps our hero harness the bedlam, stop a nefarious plot and save the museum.

Meanwhile, “Hatching the Past” will give visitors to the State Historical Museum a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs through their eggs, nests and embryos. The hands-on exhibit offers an array of authentic dinosaur eggs and nests collected from all over the globe – including those of each of the major plant- and meat-eating dinosaur groups.

Although dinosaur eggs were first identified in the 1920s, their scientific significance was not fully appreciated until the end of the 20th century. Today, dinosaur eggs are recognized for their scientific value and for offering details and insights into the behavior, growth and evolution of dinosaurs.

“When most of us think of dinosaurs, we think of fully grown adults,” Walker said. “This exhibit showcases the amazing science of dinosaur eggs – how and where scientists have discovered eggs and nests, and the remarkable stories these fossilized eggs reveal about dinosaur life.”

“Hatching the Past” presents new findings about dinosaur reproduction and behavior and introduces some of the people and science behind the discoveries. The multi-media experience helps give credence to long debated theories that dinosaurs and birds are closely related.

A captivating experience for all ages, “Hatching the Past” invites visitors to see or touch more than 300 dinosaur bones and reconstructed nests – one more than eight feet in diameter – dig for eggs, experience hands-on exploration stations and view animated video presentations featuring dinosaur experts.

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.


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