- The US Army is expecting a surge in tourists at the Trinity test site because of “Oppenheimer.”
- It said it’s preparing for a “larger than normal crowd” at its next open house on October 21.
- Officials warned that anyone beyond the first 5,000 visitors might not gain entry.
The US Army is warning that too many tourists might try to get into the first-ever nuclear bomb test site this year because of Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster “Oppenheimer.”
“Due to the release of the movie Oppenheimer in July, we are expecting a larger than normal crowd at the 21 October Open House,” said a notice on the official webpage for the Trinity site in New Mexico.
Visitors might have to wait up to two hours before getting into the site, the notice said.
The last Trinity open house, held on April 6, saw 3,877 visitors. But the military indicated the October opening could see upwards of 5,000 tourists.
“If you are not one of the first 5,000 visitors, you might not get through the gate prior to its closure at 2 p.m.,” the army’s notice warned. The site typically closes at 3:30 p.m., per the open house website.
The White Sands Missile Range hosts two free-admission open houses each year for the Trinity site, where the US Army conducted the world’s first nuclear weapon detonation in July 1945 under the Manhattan project.
Nolan’s film “Oppenheimer” dramatizes the development of the nuclear bomb led by J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Irish actor Cillian Murphy.
The first Trinity open house was held in September 1953, after authorities determined that residual radiation from the bomb was only around 10 times higher than normal background radiation in the area.
An obelisk now stands near the center of the blast in the New Mexico desert, and visitors are brought on a tour of the remains of the facilities used for the test. Trinitite, a green glassy substance formed from desert sand melted by the atom bomb, can still be found near the site.
The White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours.