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Lemurs’ plight fills Imax screen

Morgan Freeman narrates the documentary “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” which opens Friday at the Riverfront Park Imax. (Associated Press)
Morgan Freeman narrates the documentary “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” which opens Friday at the Riverfront Park Imax. (Associated Press)

Morgan Freeman intones in a movie trailer: A family of castaways is swept out to sea, to land on a mysterious island.

What happens next on the island of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, takes millions of years.

The family of “proto-lemurs,” washed out to sea from Africa aboard a floating raft of vegetation, evolved into hundreds of species.

A documentary opening Friday at the Riverfront Park Imax Theatre tells the story of the animals’ survival – and decline. After humans arrived on Madagascar 2,000 years ago, some lemurs became extinct. That included all the giant lemurs, some of which were as big as gorillas, according to a press release from Warner Bros. Pictures and Imax.

“Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” follows primatologist Patricia Wright, whose mission is to help lemurs avoid extinction. But lemurs – which can be as tiny as the pygmy mouse lemurs and as big as the 3-foot-tall indris – are the stars.

They leap, hop, gallop, dance and sing on the screen in what director David Douglas has called the primates’ “come-from-behind survival story.”

Adrian Rogers

When: The 39-minute film will run through August. Friday to April 13, it starts at 2:30 p.m. daily; check http://spokane riverfrontpark.com for later showtimes.

Where: The Riverfront Park Imax Theatre is in the U.S. Pavilion area of the downtown park.

Tickets: Available at the theater. $8.50 for adults, with $1 discounts for seniors and members of the military; $6 ages 12 and younger; free for children 2 and younger. Group discounts available; book in advance by calling (509) 625-6746.

Online: Download children’s activities and educational materials at http://islandoflemurs.imax.com.