Tennessee Aquarium And IMAX Sign Laser Technology Agreement

July 13, 2015 – 12:57 pm

Chattanooga, Tenn. (July 13, 2015) – The Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX Corporation have signed an agreement to install IMAX’s next-generation digital laser projection system at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX® 3D Theater. The new technology will enable the Aquarium to deliver a wider array of digital content and further enhance The IMAX Experience® for its visitors and students.

IMAX® with laser represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology – providing audiences with the sharpest, brightest, clearest and most vivid digital images ever seen.

Designed from the ground up for IMAX’s largest screens, the dual 4K laser projection system is equipped with a new optical engine and suite of proprietary IMAX technologies capable of projecting an image that will fill the Aquarium’s giant 89-foot wide by 66-foot tall screen with maximum resolution and sharpness, unparalleled 3D brightness, industry-leading contrast and an expanded color palette.

“IMAX with laser delivers dramatic increases in sharpness, brightness, contrast, color, as well as the next level in sound,” said IMAX Chief Technology Officer Brian Bonnick. “We pursued a unique ground-up development approach to take advantage of all the benefits that laser provides, which ultimately results in further suspending disbelief when patrons at the Tennessee Aquarium experience an IMAX movie.”

The Aquarium’s team has been studying various digital projection systems but didn’t see any that matched the visual quality of the 15/70 film format until now. “We have been waiting for the development of laser projection systems to see how they compared to other digital projection systems,” said Gordon Stalans, the Aquarium’s director of finance and chair of the Giant Screen Cinema Association’s board of directors. “Laser showed us something far beyond other systems and is brighter and much sharper than film.”

The Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will close on January 4th, 2016 to begin the construction work. It will take approximately four weeks to install the new laser projection system, new screen and IMAX’s next-generation sound technology that includes 12 discreet channels throughout the theater and, for the first time, speakers on the ceiling.

Bonnick added, “Whether you’re hearing a pin drop or feeling the heart-palpating force of a volcano or a rock concert – you’re going to have a new kind of visceral sound experience.”

All of the upgrades are expected to be in place by the first week in February. When the Aquarium’s IMAX 3D Theater reopens, it will be the only IMAX with laser in the region.

“This comprehensive package of enhancements will begin an exciting new era for our theater,” said Charlie Arant, the Aquarium’s president and CEO. “We’re uniquely positioned to maximize the capabilities of this system while bringing new experiences to Chattanooga’s largest screen.”

In addition to showing awe-inspiring documentaries and Hollywood blockbusters, the Aquarium will be able to leverage the high-speed Internet connectivity of the “Gig-City.” “The range of possibilities includes live screenings of concerts, sporting events and theatrical presentations,” said Arant. “And, school groups may also gather at our theater for real-time interactions with researchers in other parts of the world or witness discoveries being made by deep sea or space explorers.”

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