Maine Maritime Museum to open ‘Into the Lantern’ June 17

Immersive lighthouse exhibit is first of its kind
Posted:  Friday, June 2, 2017 - 7:30am

On June 17, Maine Maritime Museum invites the public to celebrate the museum’s newest permanent exhibit, Into the Lantern: A Lighthouse Experience. The exhibit features a full-scale replica of the east Cape Elizabeth lighthouse tower and incorporates video projection to allow visitors to experience the sensation of standing at the top of the lighthouse overlooking Casco Bay. The Grand Opening Celebration on June 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be the first chance for visitors to experience this one-of-a-kind exhibit.

The museum will offer a reduced admission of $6 for adults and kids under 12 free. In addition to the new exhibit, the event will include crafts, games, and discounted lighthouse cruises on the museum’s cruise boat Merrymeeting, giving visitors the opportunity to view some of Maine’s most charming lighthouses from the water. A number of Maine lighthouse organizations will be on hand with fun activities and information about Maine’s most iconic lighthouses.

The celebration kicks of a summer full of lighthouse-related activities at the museum, including lectures, narrated trips to Seguin Island Lighthouse, a special tour of Portland Head Light, cruises, and more. Visit for details.

About Into the Lantern

Into the Lantern: A Lighthouse Experience will house the second-order Fresnel lens that that once guided ships into Portland, Maine, from the east Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse tower (formerly known as Two Lights). The lens in the exhibit is the original ca. 1874 Fresnel lens that was in the east lantern until 1991. Into the Lantern: A Lighthouse Experience is the first exhibit of its kind to include a 180-degree media projection system with time-lapse videography of the active panorama of the Gulf of Maine, simulating the experience of standing at the top of a lighthouse tower by showcasing changing views of Casco Bay as seen from the tower. The exhibit is on one level, making it possible for people who are physically unable to negotiate the steps of a real tower to have the visceral experience of going “up into” a lighthouse – with the views from the top, the sounds, and the breezes.

“Lighthouses are one of the icons of maritime Maine, and visitors come from all over the world to see them. However, many people never have the opportunity to be at the top of a lighthouse, and the Cape Elizabeth Light is not open to the public. So this new exhibit gives people an idea of what that might be like while also explaining the technology and history of these amazing structures,” said Amy Lent, executive director of the museum.