7 , 1998
in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, part of the new
complex that comprises the California Science
Center. It is the first nonprofit educational
theater with 3D capability built on the West Coast.
$8 million IMAX Theater, designed by the award-winning
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, opened as part
of the new California Science Center in February
7, 1998. It features movies in the classic 2D
(two dimensional) and IMAX 3D format.
projected annual attendance for the new 24,200-square-foot
theater is approximately 700,000. School and youth
groups are expected to account for 25 percent
or 175,000 of that total.
a 7-story high by 90-feet wide screen 2 stories
higher and 20 feet wider than its predecessor.
480 people. Steeply-pitched stadium seating allows
everyone to have full view of the screen.
3D performances, audiences wear polarized, lightweight
glasses with large lenses, providing extra wide
viewing of the screen. The glasses, combined with
the giant screen, bring images closer to the audience
than any other 3D format developed to date.
hearing assistance system for the hearing impaired.
Visitors have the movie’s narration amplified
by wearing wireless headsets connected to pocket
a full-service concession stand with items such
as popcorn, beverages, and ice cream.
generated by the theater funds continuing educational
programs and operations of the California Science
Center. Admission to the California Science Center
exhibit halls is free.
previous IMAX Theater, built and operated by the
California Museum of Science and Industry, has
helped educate and entertain over 5,000,000 visitors
since its opening in 1984.
About IMAX Technology:
or maximum image, uses the largest film frame
in the motion picture industry10
times larger than Hollywood’s standard 35-mm film
format and three times bigger than the standard
70-mm frame. The larger film frame creates images
of unsurpassed clarity and impact.
size of the IMAX film is so large that one 40-minute
film is approximately 3 miles long.
screen is painted by a robot to ensure an even
coating of highly reflective paint. There are
also thousands of tiny holes spaced evenly around
the screen to permit the sound to travel directly
toward the audience.
theater’s six-channel-digital sound system is
designed in a surround sound pattern so that every
moviegoer can hear even the smallest sound effect.
A network of 44 speakers bathes every seat in
12,000 watts of sound.
to make viewers a part of the action, IMAX movie
screens extend beyond the peripheral vision so
that filmgoers have full views of images. The
razor-sharp images and six-channel-digital surround
sound system also help immerse the viewer in the
specially designed IMAX camera photographs the
largest frame ever used in motion pictures on
horizontally moving 65-mm film. Because of the
increased information carrying capacity of the
huge frame, the camera records images with much
greater detail than does any other motion picture
IMAX motion picture system was invented and developed
by Toronto-based Imax Corporation.
key to the IMAX projection system’s performance,
reliability, extraordinary sharpness and clarity
is the sheer size of the screen, combined with
the unique "rolling loop" film movement,
which advances the film horizontally in a smooth,
wave-like motion. During projection, each film
frame is positioned on fixed registration pins,
while the film is held firmly against the back
of the lens by a vacuum. As a result, the picture
and focus steadiness exceed normal standards.
size of a small caralternately
projects the left- and right-eye images onto the
1.5-kilowatt Xenon projector lamp is bright enough
that if located on the moon and facing Earth,
it would easily be visible to the unaided eye.
film runs through the projector at 24 frames per
second. The shutters on the projector alternate
left and right images 96 times per second.
technology is based on human vision: it mimics
the way we see the real world. When you look at
an object, each of your eyes sees a slightly different
view of that object. Through a process called
stereopsis, the brain "fuses" the two
images into a single 3D image.