Whitaker Center breaks attendance record over Thanksgiving weekend
The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts posted its best Thanksgiving weekend ever for attendance, officials said Wednesday, a sign of what could be a strong holiday season for the Harrisburg-based entertainment venue.
Officials said more than 1,800 people flocked to the Whitaker Center between Friday and Sunday, a 68 percent increase over last year and the biggest crowd in the complex's 17-year history.
The previous record was in 2010 when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" opened in the cinema. That drew 1,690 people over three days in the cinema and science center.
The record crowd this year came for a new hands-on exhibit, Whitaker Wonderland, as well as holiday films such as "The Polar Express" and "A Christmas Carol 3D." Whitaker Wonderland includes a sock skate rink, snowball pit and cranky cars.
Also new this year is the festively decorated AMP Lobby, which is open to the public to enjoy holiday trees, a gingerbread village and electric trains.
Ted Black, the center's president and CEO, said his team is excited for December, which will include the debut of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." The latest installment of the "Star Wars" saga opens Dec. 15.