by Rob Morris
Mar 08, 2012
It’s difficult to take in the size of the movie screen at the new Warren World Class IMAX Theatre until you stand at the base of it. With your head tipped back, the wide, curved surface seems to taper off into the distance. It’s a screen so big that it actually takes two state-of-the-art IMAX digital projectors to cover it with an image.
And even though IMAX executives really don’t like to talk about the size of the screen compared with other IMAX theatres, reliable “word on the street” is that the screen in Moore is actually the largest digital IMAX screen in the world.
Say it with me: Largest. In. The. World.
Bill Warren’s vision for what he calls a “guilty pleasure” for the movie-going public has now put Moore in the same breath as New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. That’s pretty elite company, and when you combine it with Warren’s passion and fondness for the trappings of old school Hollywood glitz and glamor, it puts this latest venue at the top of the movie theatre world.
“One of my roles with IMAX is to oversee worldwide distribution,” says IMAX vice-president Bob Gross, “I’ve seen a lot of IMAX theatres around the world and I can tell you, none of them compare to this one.”
The $10 million theatre seats 601 people and Warren executives promise there isn’t a bad seat to be found in the massive auditorium. The screen itself towers 6 stories high and is backed by IMAX’S proprietary, state-of-the-art 6 channel system that surrounds movie goers with precise sound.
But Warren says it’s not just big, it’s better in every way a movie experience can be better.
“I’m old to enough to remember the glorious theatres of the old days in those downtown areas,” Warren said. “I wanted to create that atmosphere again. Old, glamorous Hollywood but in a modern configuration with multiple screens, IMAX, George Lucas THX sound. All the latest technology.”
Combining the cutting-edge technology of the IMAX experience with Warren’s high art décor, dining and comfortable seats with plenty of legroom certainly accomplishes that goal. The Warren Theatre has become a destination for movie goers across the region. And that’s something that has helped fuel Moore’s tremendous economic growth over the past 10 years.
“The Warren Theatre has been great for the city, and we certainly expect the new IMAX theatre to continue that,” Glenn Lewis, mayor of Moore, said. “A lot of people will be coming to this theatre, and that will give us the chance to showcase our city. It really puts us in a unique, first-class position.”
Once those visitor settle into the IMAX seats, they’ll notice the screen is not just massive (Did we mention it’s six stories high?), it’s also slightly curved. That curve helps make sure every seat is a good one for viewers.
The pair of IMAX projectors are huge in their own right and generate enough heat to require their own separate air conditioning system. Each film that plays on an IMAX screen is digitally re-mastered by the company to enhance the picture. The same is true for the soundtrack; six tracks of digital audio that plays off of a separate hard drive. Speakers are placed directly behind the screen and around the theatre to create a three-dimensional effect.
The number of movies released in the IMAX format is growing every year. Only seven movies were released in IMAX in 2007. That number grew to 15 in 2010 and 20 in 2011.
Among the IMAX movies scheduled to be released this year are “John Carter,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Avengers,” “Men in Black 3,” “The Amazing Spiderman,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and “The Hobbit.”
This is Warren’s second IMAX theatre. The first was opened in Wichita in 2012 and has defied the expectations of everyone in the movie industry—including IMAX executives—by becoming the top-grossing IMAX theatre in North America. Everyone involved with the Warren World Class IMAX expects the Moore version to be even more successful.
“This is one of the biggest movie screens on earth,” said Warren, “I’m anticipating that this theater will be the number-one IMAX theater in the country, hands down.”
And he adds—with that smile Moore city leaders are happy to see—he has some new concepts he’s working on; he’s not finished yet.
Which means those opportunities to showcase the city will only increase.
For more coverage on the Warren World Class IMAX, check out the following links:
IMAX "VIP Night"
MMTV News Segment on IMAX Opening
IMAX Screen Raising
IMAX Ticket Prices Set
IMAX Groundbreaking Ceremony