Climbers will summit Chattanooga’s largest movie screen at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater on Tuesday, in what may resemble a scene from the film “Everest.” The climbers will rappel down the face of the giant, six-story vertical slope equipped with cutters to slice up the silver screen.
This is the first step in a nearly month-long process to convert the theater from one that shows 70 mm film to one of the only theaters in the world to utilize the new IMAX with Laser projection system. “We need to replace the screen and sound system behind the screen as part of this massive project,” said Don Walker, the Aquarium’s director of guest services. “Because of its size, it will be beneficial to cut the screen up while it’s still attached to the frame and then drop the sections to the floor to be removed.”
The screen lowering begins the renovations. Raising the new screen will be one of the finishing touches to the $1.2 million dollar project that’s expected to be completed by the first of February.
The other changes include installing speakers in the ceiling of the theater to create a 3D sound sphere, installation of two, 4K laser projectors and connecting the entire system to the Internet. In the future, IMAX technicians will be able to monitor and adjust the projectors and 12-point audio system remotely, ensuring optimal performance of the new system for every film that’s shown. Connectivity will also give the Aquarium the ability to stream events in real time.
When the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater reopens in early February, it will be the only theater in the Southeast showing movies using the new IMAX with Laser projection system.