To Fly!

To Fly! is a 1976 documentary film shot in the IMAX format. It follows the history of flight, from the first hot air balloons in the 19th century to 20th century manned space missions. It was created for performance at the National Air and Space Museum's IMAX Theater in Washington, D.C.

To Fly!
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGreg MacGillivray
Jim Freeman
Produced byGreg MacGillivray
Jim Freeman
Written byGreg MacGillivray
Jim Freeman
Thomas McGrath
Francis Thompson
Robert M. Young
Arthur Zegart
StarringEllen Bry
Narrated byThomas McGrath
Music byBernardo Segall
CinematographyBrad Ohlund
Edited byAlexander Hammid
Distributed byNational Air and Space Museum
Release date
  • July 1, 1976 (1976-07-01)
Running time
27 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$120,700,000[1]


To Fly! was written by Jim Freeman, Greg MacGillivray, Thomas McGrath, Francis Thompson, Robert M. Young and Arthur Zegart. It was directed by Freeman and MacGillivray, and edited by documentary filmmaker Alexander Hammid. In 1995, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The movie was shown in 1979 at Six Flags Great America theme park's Pictorium and was the first movie shown at the new theatres.

To Fly! was the highest grossing documentary of all time before the release of Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004. It has grossed $86.6 million domestically and $120.7 million worldwide, which it has accumulated during its decades in release. The movie is still shown daily at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.


  1. "To Fly!, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 22, 2012.

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