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New documentaries coming to the Putnam Giant Screen Theater will bring viewers up close to the thrills of the first moon landing, which took place July 20, 1969.

DAVENPORT — To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, which took place July 20, 1969, the Putnam Museum & Science Center is taking a giant leap this month with events that are out of this world.

Beginning Saturday, July 13, the documentary “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” will play on the Putnam’s Giant Screen, 1717 W. 12th St. Showings will begin at 11 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Saturday; 1, 3 and 4 p.m. Sunday; and noon and 1 p.m. Monday.

The film showcases the iconic Apollo 11 mission — from the final moments of preparation to liftoff, landing and return. It includes never-before-seen footage and audio.

“Our first journey to the moon exemplifies the best of humanity — heroism, sacrifice, bravery and hard work,” said Rachael Mullins Steiner, Putnam president and CEO. “Apollo 11 and the space race represent an important time in science and in our history, blazing a new path for space exploration and showing the world what can be accomplished with vision, ingenuity and unwavering commitment.

"The Putnam is proud to celebrate these brave explorers and to create a shared experience for the Quad-Cities community to commemorate this historic accomplishment.”

Tickets to “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” are $9 for adults, $8 for members, youths, seniors, military members and college students.

Festivities celebrating the first manned mission to the moon will continue July 20 with a special Lunar Landing Party starting at 7 p.m. at the Putnam. Guests will have the opportunity to step back in time to 1969. They’ll see a re-created living room of the era, designed by Davenport's Riverbend Retro; dance to the hits of the time; and watch the actual footage of the moon landing at 9:56 p.m. — the exact landing time — on the Giant Screen.

 Tickets to the Lunar Landing Party are $30 for non-members and $25 for members.

The party will feature special activities, and appetizers and cocktails will be available, including one complimentary drink. Guests are invited to dress in ’60s attire, and each attendee will receive one pass to come back and see “Apollo 11.”

Also on July 20 and 21, the Putnam will host “The Day We Walked on the Moon” on the Giant Screen for two days only. The Smithsonian Channel documentary tells the story of the historic moon landing through interviews with key figures in Mission Control, contemporary astronauts, and the families of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. 

Showtimes will be noon and 4 p.m. July 20 and 2 p.m. July 21. Admission is free with the with the purchase of a general admission museum ticket or ticket to “Apollo 11.”

“As an outreach affiliate for NASA’s National Space Grant program, the Putnam is excited to offer these fun and engaging programs, so guests of all ages can share their remembrances and learn something new about this historic event,” said Mullins Steiner. “Both films are incredible on the Giant Screen, and the Lunar Landing Party is going to be a blast from the past for fans of NASA and the 1960s.”

For more information, call 563-324-1933 or visit putnam.org.

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Jonathan is a reporter for the Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline.com.

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