The world's oldest planetarium still in operation was opened on July 18th, 1926. Located in the center of Jena, it is run by the Ernst Abbe Foundation. The building, now classified as a historical monument, was erected in 1924/25; the pioneering special concrete design of its dome was imitated by many other star theaters. In the course of the decades, the Jena Planetarium has seen many changes, with regard to equipment as well as the style and content of shows. In 1996, the COSMORAMA was replaced with an UNIVERSARIUM, still today's most advanced planetarium projector design, which uses fiber optics for star projection of unique brilliance. In 2011 VELVET, the only fulldome system featuring the True Black Projection Technology was installed. The planetariums is also producing its own fulldome shows.
The repertoire of programs includes - among the general astronomical topics - children's shows, laser, musical and music shows as well as special events.