Each of the formerly divided city of Berlin had its own planetarium. The Wilhelm Foerster Observatory with its planetarium in West Berlin was established in 1964, while the Zeiss Planetarium in East Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district was built in the mid-eighties. The latter is run jointly with the Archenhold Observatory.
The modern complex housing the Zeiss Planetarium is dominated by a 30m dome. The auditorium is upstairs; when visitors come for a show, the projection machine – a Cosmorama of the classical dumbbell shape, nicknamed "the bone" by the staff – is still hidden inside a covered well.
The program concept of the shows is aimed at communicating science in an emotionally effective way, and to blend educational and entertaining elements, facts and imagination into a multimedia experience.