IMAX - Niagara
Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic
After our amazing Skylon Tower lunch experience, we took a slow walk back to the hotel, enjoying the scenery as we went. We stopped for a chat with Gloria, the lovely lady at the dedicated tour information desk. We think she looks fabulous at any age - but when I tell you that she is very open about being old enough to be my mum - just incredible with a personality to match. Gloria suggested we venture back out in the now biting cold to see the film showing at the IMAX cinema three blocks away. At just after four we had an even slower wander to catch the five o’clock showing. Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic is a 1986 IMAX film directed and produced by filmmaker Kieth Merrill (yes that's really how his name is spelt). The film, currently shown hourly at Niagara Falls State Park's Adventure Theater, shows the history of the Niagara Falls, dating back to the earliest legends. This showing was to be in Korean as a huge party was in town. Undaunted as we were given ear phones in English, and in fact, once we got absorbed into the film we didn’t notice.
Part of the film's focus is people that braved the Niagara Falls, such as tight-rope walkers, barrel riders (blog called Nutters), and those unfortunate enough to accidentally plunge over the Falls. Actors portraying Annie Edson Taylor (own blog), Roger Woodward and Blondin played by Philippe Petit appear in the film. The film also shows the creation and history of the Maid of the Mist boats.
In Native American legend, Lelawala was a beautiful maiden of the peaceful tribe of the Ongiaras that was married off by her father to a king. However, she despised the old king "with breath like an old bear......" (of course I didn't titter at that), and longed to be with her true love He-No. He was the god of thunder and lurked in a cave beneath the Horseshoe Falls. She took the decision to find He-No at all cost. Late at night she bade farewell to her family and silently paddled a canoe onto the Niagara River. She was swept overf the Falls. Fortunately He-No had been watching and caught Lelawala after she fell. The event united them for all eternity and it is said their spirits still live in the caves beneath Niagara Falls to this day. Lelawala is known as the original Maid of the Mist. Shame they changed the name as we think it quite lovely.
The fifth part of the Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic film tells the story of the Lelawala tugboat. As a result of the civil war, tourism died; the Lelawala was sold and had to be taken downriver. The atmosphere was very intense as the skipper took the decision to face the wild grade six rapids. The action was breathtaking. My favourite bit is when the somewhat ragged boat comes to a gentle stop next to a pontoon complete with dozing angler, he wakes saying "where did you come from", a very dapper captain appears, lights his pipe and casually answers "Up river".
In the "Miracle at Niagara", Roger Woodward, a seven-year-old American boy, was swept over the Horseshoe Falls protected only by a life vest on the 9th of July 1960, as two tourists pulled his 17-year-old sister Deanne from the river only twenty feet from the lip of the Horseshoe Falls at Goat Island. Minutes later, Woodward was plucked from the roiling plunge pool beneath the Horseshoe Falls after grabbing a life ring thrown to him by the crew of the Maid of the Mist boat, really exciting stuff.
ALL IN ALL REALLY PLEASED WE WENT