IMAX isn't old news.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003 7:05 PM
I thought I would bring this topic up because I remember a topic here awhile back about CP removing their IMAX theatre and enthusiasts stating the reasoning was because IMAX is old news in today's movie going experience.

Well, it seems the Chicago area thinks otherwise. We have one at SFGAm, one at Navy Pier, one at Museum of Science and Industry, one in Lincolnshire and another somewhere in the southern suburbs of Chicago.

Possibly soon, we might see another IMAX come to life. A shuttered mall (Lakehurst) which happens to be only a few miles from SFGAm, has a movie theatre that was once the largest in the nation. Plans are to possibly add an IMAX to the 12-screen muliplex.

You can read the article here.

IMAX's aren't old news yet. *** Edited 12/18/2003 12:08:16 AM UTC by Chitown***

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 7:08 PM
That's pretty cool. Any idea how long it would take to get there from Naperville?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 7:52 PM
IMAX is old news. It's all about 3D OmniMAX now! If you've ever seen one of those, you can't go back to plain old IMAX. It just doesn't compare. :)

By the way when did Cedar Point have an IMAX theater? When was it removed? *** Edited 12/18/2003 12:53:31 AM UTC by Phyter***

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 8:06 PM
Cedar Point removed the IMAX because of the building it was in could be refitted to do the ice show. Entertainment is still big at the Point. Yes, IMAX has evolved into better experiences in other locations, but no themer had one the size of CP's.

While I despise ice skating, only a handfull of themers do it, and if you take away the Busch parks, who has a large theatre? Anyway, CP made a capital decision, not a technology decision.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 8:24 PM
I'm not sure that I agree with you there. In talking with some of their peeps, there was some degree of reduced viewership and they didn't want to upgrade or maintain any of their aging equipment. Add to the fact that the number of new IMAX movies left little choice in what to show from year to year.

But beyond that, they knew from their cousins out west that the show would be huge, and indeed it has been.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 9:17 PM
Ahah, I'm not crazy! Last year when I went to Cedar Point I was wondering where is was. I specifically remember going to an alien based one because it was raining. Wait, when did they take it out? I remember seeing it in 2000 on my first visit to CP.

edit:grammer *** Edited 12/18/2003 2:18:34 AM UTC by colincsl***

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 9:48 PM
I think there's an IMAX in Addison, too, Chitown. Never went...
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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 9:51 PM
There is also an IMAX in Woodridge (Naperville area) at 7 bridges.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 10:56 PM

Olsor said:
I think there's an IMAX in Addison, too, Chitown. Never went...

Yeah, there's one at Marcus in Addison...

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003 11:44 PM
Cedar Point had an IMAX theater 1975-2001, I think.

Pity to lose it, it was one of the largest IMAX theaters ever built. When I visited the IMAX theater here in Columbus (Worthington, actually), I walked into the theater and immediately thought, "I thought IMAX screens were supposed to be BIG!" CP's IMAX was roughly 88x66 feet, if I remember correctly. The one up at the Marcus theater is probably 40x30.

Personally, I think CP's ice show is a good attraction, but it seems like such a waste to have the theater devoted to a show that is only open for 2.5 of the 6 months that the park is open...mid-June to late August. It's not open in May, or the first half of June, or at all after the week before Labor Day. And the show is off one day a week. They really need an alternate show of some kind to have in there the rest of the time, just in case it happens to rain...!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 12:03 AM
Just a minor quibble, Chitown: The one at the Museum of Science and Industry is Omnimax, not IMAX. Unfortunately, they don't seem to make Omnimax films anymore, so all that's shown nowadays is IMAX (a pity, because the wraparound effect is much greater with true Omnimax film).
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Thursday, December 18, 2003 12:32 AM
I do this from CP staff, one blunder was the Stones:Live at the Max, which I have on tape, and is great, but you need an aditional admission for it, which was not good, and yes, the new movies are everywhere.


I think that if they got the classics back, like the old movies with the Thunderbolt, Loch Ness Monster, swamp boats, race cars, and etc., with the Chips music in the background, well, it it entertains me.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 1:04 AM
Cool, thanks for the link Chitown! I love seeing movies in the amazing IMAX format (Lion King and Matrix were awesome), and it appears that there might be one closer to home soon if the Lakehurst plan goes through. It will also be interesting to see what they do with the barren mall area.

I also enjoy stopping in to IMAX shows at Great America. I think it would be pretty cool if Warner Bros. started showing acual films at Great America. I don't know how well it would work though, given that most people would probably not want to waste 2+ hours of their park time in a film. It could be a fringe benefit to see movies in IMAX for those holding season passes though! The short IMAX films they show now appear to be popular as the theater is almost always full everytime I go.

TTD Tom - The Lakehurst Mall area is about five or ten minutes from Great America. If you know how long it takes to get to GA from Naperville, just add that extra time.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 7:28 AM

BeachBrian said:
TTD Tom - The Lakehurst Mall area is about five or ten minutes from Great America. If you know how long it takes to get to GA from Naperville, just add that extra time.

In actuality it is one exit (or 2) closer to Naperville than SFGAm so you may get to actually subtract a few minutes instead of add a few minutes. Instead of getting off on Grand Avenue for SFGAm you would want to get off on 120 and go East about 1-2 miles. Lakehurst mall will be the first exit after the first stop light. At the bottom of the exit ramp take a right at the light. Then you could go right or left and follow the ring road around the old Lakehurst Mall. It is about equally as far in either direction.

The IMAX theater is not yet built but since I work down the street from there I can certainly keep everyone posted if you are interested.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 8:24 AM
There is a park overseas (I don't remember the name) that is completely devoted to film formats such as IMAX. They have several pavilions showing various films in different formats including one that I believe you wear a swimsuit while watching because there are many water elements.

The same company was talking about building a park down in South Florida but that has never materialized.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 9:46 AM
On the contrary, I think moviemakers just in the last few years have started to really utilize IMAX for the reasons it should be used: real movies.

I wouldn't pay to see those 45-minute documentaries, but I really like that they're playing full-length movies at IMAX now. Just in the past few years we've had Matrix Reloaded, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Fantasia and Star Wars at the local IMAX.

The only problem is that the extra cost isn't worth the slightly extra thrill.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 10:13 AM
IMO, it's all about 3-D IMAX films!! IMAX/OMNIMAX yeah, it's cool, but 3-D WOW those things are unreal! They make Disney 3-D films seem like nothing. I recently saw the 3-D version of SPACE it was AWESOME! I suggest to anyone that I come across to pay the $7.50 to see a 3-D IMAX film...so worth the price.

For all those also wondering, there is a new film that is getting a lot of rave reviews in 3-D. It comes out in Jan. of 2004 and it's called NASCAR IMAX 3-D. While I'm not a big Nascar fan, I haven't seen a bad 3-D movie yet.

Also anyone know how big the Columbus COSI IMAX is compared to the Columbus Marcus theaters. I think the Columbus ones is one of the biggest around from what I remember hearing in that little sound test thing they always do. It's amazing how many IMAX and Omnimax theaters there really are in Ohio.

Personally I think CP should have upgraded to IMAX 3-D and maybe figure out a way to enhance that with some 4-D effects, but again it all comes down to money and IMAX stuff isn't cheap.

I liked the preshows better at CP with the IMAX shows than the now Snoopy getting the crowd pumped up.

"The Future of Roller Coasters"
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Thursday, December 18, 2003 11:29 AM
Last IMAX 3-D was "The Last Buffalo" at Great America Santa Clara. Cool stuff.
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Thursday, December 18, 2003 3:42 PM
A reason IMAX films aren't any longer is because of the expense and the time it takes to make it. I'm reading High Exposure by David Breashears for Earth Science and it tells of his adventures in making the Everest IMAX(along with a bunch of other things). One film canaster holds 90 seconds worth of film. The camera uses, I think it is, 5.6 feet of film a second. It is also hard to take the cameras to many places because of the weight and other things. Up until around 1996(I think) the cameras weighed aproxomitly 75 pounds. The cameras sometimes have to be modifide for certain reasons bringing the cost up. For example the IMAX people had to make a camera that weighed a lot less, for the Everest film(it ended up weighing about 42 pounds). They also had to make the parts bigger so the film could be put on by a person wearing gloves. Also you have to turn the camera slowly so the viewers don't get sick.

Oh, and I think they should make a 3-d roller coaster IMAX. It could be pretty cool if thye did it right.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 4:31 PM
The other problem is not in creating the film, but in handling the reels for the finished film. This is 70mm film run sideways through the projector, so it takes a lot of film at 24 FPS.

COSI in Columbus doesn't have an IMAX theater. Their theater was built, if I remember correctly, by Iwerks (you did know that Iwerks started as an offshoot of the Walt Disney Company building studio screening rooms, right?) and can handle multiple film formats. I don't know if it can handle genuine IMAX or not; I'm not certain whether they have a rolling loop projector.

Johnson, I don't think you're talking about IMAX movies in your last paragraph. Cinema 180, perhaps, but not IMAX. IMAX has always been more highbrow than all that. The formula was simple: At some point in the movie

1) Get the camera into the air
2) Fly it low
3) Go over the edge of the cliff

...but that is as gimmicky as it got. POV action footage in IMAX has traditionally been rare.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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