Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Coming On March 11 In IMAX With Laser

Friday, March 4, 2016 - by Thom Benson

If the Tennessee Aquarium were to ask legendary Jedi Master Yoda to announce that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming to Chattanooga’s largest screen beginning Friday, March 11th, it might sound like this, “Patience you have. Now rewarded will you be. The Force feels stronger when lightsabers are seen in laser 3D.”

Even J.J. Abrams, the film’s director/producer, wouldn’t argue with Yoda.

Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the fastest film to gross $1 billion at the box office, Associated Press film writer Lindsey Bahr asked Abrams about the best way to view the film. “As someone who really hasn’t been the most vocal advocate of 3-D, the strangest thing happened to me on this,” Mr. Abrams said. “When I was watching the reels in 3-D, there were a number of shots – and I know this sounds insane – that I hadn’t understood in the three-dimensional space quite the way I did when I saw them in 3-D. I actually felt that there were things that were playing better in 3-D. I had never felt that before. And if people have access to a theater that has laser projection, it is shockingly better.”

In this interview, Mr. Abrams also referred to the greatly enhanced contrast ratios that laser projection provides adding, “You cannot compare a traditionally projected image with a laser image. The blacks are true blacks. It’s almost as if you have to adjust to it.”

IMAX with Laser doubles the contrast of standard IMAX 15/70mm film projection adding to the realism perceived by audiences. The 4K lasers also are 50 percent brighter with a wider color gamut. “See for yourself and believe you will,” Yoda might say.

Star Wars fans will have several opportunities to experience The Force Awakens with the aquarium’s new IMAX with Laser projection system. The film will run once daily at 7 p.m. March 11 through April 7. (Except March 22 when climber, photographer and National Geographic Young Explorer Max Lowe will be at the IMAX Theater for a special screening of National Parks Adventure 3D.)

“This gives families one more reason to visit downtown Chattanooga during spring break,” said Don Walker, the Aquarium’s director of guest services. “We’re very excited to add Star Wars: The Force Awakens to our strong lineup of 3D films which includes National Parks Adventure, Born to Be Wild and Under the Sea.

IMAX Club pass holders will be able to use their benefits to purchase tickets to Star Wars: The Force Awakens for just $4 and save $2 on guest tickets. Pass holders also get free upgrades to the next larger size of soft drinks and popcorn at IMAX concessions.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been rated PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence).

Showtimes: 7 p.m. March 11 through April 8 (except March 22).


Admission: Adults: $15.95 Children (3-12): $12.95 IMAX Club passholders: $4.00


Tickets may be purchased at the IMAX Box Office beginning Monday, March 7th.


Purchase tickets online beginning March 10th at  

This Week's Tennessee Tourism Round Up

Grab a blanket and head to a free concert, a laser show under the stars or a movie in the park. Discover clues to a secret Shakespeare play, learn a new skill or enjoy the summer at festivals across the state. Here’s what’s going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list of events, visit . Ongoing Memphis –Levitt Shell’s  ... (click for more)

Aquarium IMAX Capping Off Make Music Day With Giant-Screen Debut Of America’s Musical Journey

From blues, jazz and country to funk, rap and rock’n’roll, the United States is as much a patchwork quilt of musical genres as it is a cultural melting pot. A new IMAX film premiering soon at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater shows how this many-voiced chorus came together to create America’s musical song. On  June 21 , the Tennessee Aquarium will cap off Chattanooga’s ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Not A Blessed One

When I read, to no great surprise, that 132 of Chattanooga’s “leaders” had signed a letter in support of “socioeconomic integration” in Thursday’s Times Free Press, there were two things that were immediately obvious to me: Not a blessed one would have (a) written such a letter on their personal stationery, and (b) not a blessed one would have ever voted for the current president ... (click for more)