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IMAX coming to Mayfaire

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Knoxville, TN (NEWS RELEASE) -- Regal Entertainment Group, a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announced The IMAX Experience® will open this summer at Regal Mayfaire Stadium 16. The IMAX Theatre will showcase films in one of the existing auditoriums through a newly installed IMAX digital projection system, specially-designed IMAX screen, and a powerful audio system delivering laser-aligned digital sound.

“Regal’s Mayfaire Stadium 16 is already an extremely popular location drawing moviegoers from all across the region. The addition of the IMAX Experience will further enhance the entertainment choices available for our loyal patrons in Wilmington,” stated Russ Nunley, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Regal Entertainment Group.

Movies to be released in IMAX include: The Dark Knight Rises (07/20), Frankenweenie in 3D (10/05), Skyfall (James Bond) (11/09), Gravity in 3D (11/21) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D (12/23).

IMAX digital projection systems showcase Hollywood blockbusters that have been digitally re-mastered into the unique image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience as well as original documentary-style IMAX content. Films are projected on a specially-designed screen that is slightly curved and moved forward to further immerse the audience. Images of exceptional quality, combined with IMAX's proprietary digital surround sound system and patented theatre geometry create “The IMAX Experience," making audiences feel as if they are IN the movie.

Regal IMAX Theatres also offer IMAX® 3D. When filmmakers choose to integrate IMAX 3D into their movies, images leap off of the screen and into the laps of the audience, further enhancing the feeling of being IN the movie. This is made possible by a combination of IMAX’s powerful 3D projection system – which simultaneously projects two separate images onto the IMAX screen – and polarized IMAX 3D glasses that audience members wear to fuse the two images into a single three-dimensional motion picture. The result is an amazing IMAX 3D Experience where the screen disappears and the movie envelops the audience.

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IMAX or not...

IMAX theater construction differs significantly from conventional theaters. It is highly unlikely that the new theater will fit in to an existing space. My assumption is that Mayfaire will lose an auditorium or two...as a sacrifice to the IMAX Gods.

A standard IMAX screen is (72 × 52.8 ft), but can be much larger. The largest IMAX screen in Australia is eight stories high, with dimensions of (117.2 × 96.5 ft) and covers an area of more than (10,930 sq ft).

If Mayfaire does not modify the theater to IMAX standards IMAX will not put their stamp of approval on the project.

The whole point of IMAX is that the print (of the traditional projectors), rather than being that of standard 35mm, is a full 70mm print. Not only that, but instead of running through the projector in a standard way (vertically), the print runs on what is called a "rolling loop" system through the projector in a horizontal manner.

The digital version of IMAX was created in 2008.

Unfortunately, there is much controversy over "artificial" IMAX screens. Roger Ebert, the film critic, has complained about the smaller IMAX screens being installed in standard theater complexes since 2008. His biggest argument is that they charge the same premium prices for films as the true IMAX theaters do. Also, the image resolution of digital IMAX theaters is not the same quality as a standard IMAX print.

IMAX digital movies utilize a 2K resolution system developed by Texas Instruments.

Hopefully the IMAX theater destined for our town will not be a watered-down version of the real thing as well.

Unfortunately, Wilmington tends to serve up sub-standard editions of many experiences and it's not just a "grass is always greener" scenario. I have noticed that when I visit the same chain restaurants or retail spaces in other towns...that ours are all just a little lacking of the same quality.

Regards,

Christopher

IMAX or not

I totally agree with Christopher's comments about Wilmington being sub standard when it comes to new technology. First, the Mayfaire IMAX will be identical to the Citadel Mall Stadium 16 Cinemas with IMAX in Charleston, SC. It will feature great sound and picture, but on a much smaller screen than traditional IMAX. While a little larger than the basic auditorium screens, do not expect that much more here. Regal Cinemas are simply incorporating the technology into an existing auditorium with a few modifications. At least they are trying since Carmike Cinemas backed out of building the Monkey Junction theaters which would have showcased competing technology (Big D Digital).
As for other technology, just look at local radio and TV. Radio stations in Raleigh and Charleston all broadcast in HD. They have been offering digital transmission of signals with additional channels of offerings you do not get on commercial radio here for years. When you ask local broadcasters here why they do not broadcast in HD, they respond nobody will listen. Do they think we are stupid, yes and the stations here are tax write offs to the parent companies. As for TV, stations outside of Wilmington are broadcasting two and three secondary channels and offering great networks like MeTV, Antenna TV, Country TV, etc. over the air. What do our local channels offer, just one additional service or none at all like WILM TV which is owned by the giant Capital Broadcasting which owns WRAL in Raleigh. That station has 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3 secondary channels. For a region that bragged so much about being first in digital, we are sub-standard like you said in technology.

How are they going to fit an

How are they going to fit an Imax screen in an existing mayfaire theater?

Magic.

Magic.

They're not...

"The IMAX Experience" is theoretically all about the technology, but in reality its about the name recognition duping people into paying a more money to see a movie.

Go here if you want to read more about it:
http://www.lfexaminer.com/20081016.htm

I hope some of the local press picks up on this, rather than just assuming the Imax name=8 story screen in a 2-story building.