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March 06, 2024

Fernbank Staff's Favorite Museum-Themed Movies

Fernbank may be known for its Giant Screen Theater, which brings incredible documentaries and in-depth stories to life on a 4-story, 3D screen. But we love a little fiction with our science as well.

When you work at a museum, sometimes you can’t get enough of Hollywood movies and the imaginative tales they include. If you want to get excited about the drama of science, nature, artifacts, culture, fossils, history, dinosaurs, art and other cool museum themes, check out these movies that are favorites of Fernbank’s own staff for their natural history ties—realistic or not.

  1. Jurassic Park

No surprise here. If you ask staff members at a dinosaur museum for favorite movies, this franchise is the king of dinosaur cinema. Dinosaurs are cloned from DNA to create a new theme park. But oh no…!

FUN FACT: Jurassic World and Jurassic World Dominion star Chris Pratt once visited Fernbank Museum to check out the giant Giganotosaurus and Argentinosaurus skeletons.

Universal Pictures Presents an Amblin Entertainment Production.

  1. Night at the Museum

There is nothing more fun than imagining the museum coming alive at night. Fernbank staff members have fun thinking about the secret lives of the museum’s collections and dioramas after the lights go out.

FUN FACT: Did you know Fernbank has shown Museum Alive 3D, a “made for museums” film with David Attenborough that perfectly blends science and imagination.

Twentieth Century Fox Presents in Association with Ingenious Film Partners A 1492 Pictures/21 Laps Production

  1. Black Panther

Even superhero movies have scenes at museums, including when an axe from Wakanda made of the precious vibranium metal is stolen from the fictional Museum of Great Britain in London

FUN FACT: This movie scene was actually shot here in Atlanta at the High Museum.

Black Panther is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Motion Pictures.

  1. Indiana Jones

Archaeology is escalated into the action-adventure genre in this movie series, where artifacts are stolen and must be recovered.

FUN FACT: In 2008, actor Harrison Ford was elected to the Board of Directors of the Archaeological Institute of America, America’s oldest and largest non-profit organization devoted to archaeology. The film star commented on his real-world dedication to archaeology, “Knowledge is power, and understanding the past can only help us in dealing with the present and the future.”

Indiana Jones is presented by Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm in association with Paramount Pictures.

  1. PeeWee Herman’s Big Adventure

Pee Wee takes a tour of the Alamo to find his missing bike, but where is the basement?

FUN FACT: Fernbank offers tours to groups of up to 15 people. Learn more here!

PeeWee Herman’s Big Adventure is produced and distributed  by Waner Bros. Home Entertainment.

  1. How to Steal a Million

We both love and cringe at museum heist movies, but add Audrey Hepburn and it’s a winner.

 How to Steal a Million is produced by World Wide Productions and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox

  1. The Mummy (1999)

This genre-mixing cult classic might be a little scary and a little silly, but it dramatically portrays themes of history, culture and mythology—plus you have to love Brendan Frasier in the lead role.

The Mummy is produced by Universal Pictures and Alphaville Films.

  1. National Treasure

A series of clues, including a hidden map on the back of the Declaration of Independence (which treasure hunters vow to steal from the museum), reveal the location of a hidden treasure.

National Treasure is presented by Walt Disney Pictures and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Junction Entertainment, Saturn Films, Sparkler Entertainment and NT2 Productions.

  1. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968 and the 1999 re-make)

Our security team would not approve of mentioning another museum heist movie, but the plot to steal priceless art while dodging the investigation of a savvy insurance detective is fun to watch.

The Thomas Crown Affair is produced by United Artists and Irish DreamTime and presented by MGM.

  1. Senior Year

This "cheeky comedy” follows a high school cheerleader after she wakes from a 20-year coma at age 37—ready ready to live out her high school dream to become prom queen, which includes a trip to a museum.

FUN FACT: Did you notice Fernbank is the iconic museum featured in this film?

 Senior Year is produced by Broken Road Productions, CBS Films, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players and distributed by Netflix.