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IMAX slated for Turkey Creek

Turkey Creek’s Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 plans to change the way Farragut residents experience movies by converting one of its existing auditoriums into an IMAX [Image Maximum] theatre.

“The I-MAX screen in Turkey Creek will open [Friday], Dec. 14, with the feature film ‘I am Legend,’” starring Will Smith. Auditorium number 10 is currently under construction to install the new and bigger screen and to outfit the projection booth with the I-MAX equipment,” Russ Nunley, vice-president of marketing and communications for Regal Entertainment Group, said.

Auditorium 10 has previously housed Pinnacle Stadium 18’s only digital theatre, which Nunley said has been moved to another auditorium.

The Turkey Creek IMAX theater is part of a deal to expand an existing joint venture partnership between IMAX Corporation and Regal Cinemas and bring the total number of Regal’s IMAX theatres to 21.

The deal includes the first North American order for IMAX Corporation’s new digital projection technology, which is currently in advanced stages of development.

Pinnacle Stadium 18 will originally be outfitted with the existing IMAX film-based system but will be upgraded with the new technology as soon as it is available.

“Just six months ago, we entered a two-theatre agreement to install I-MAX theatres in Portland, [Ore.] and San Diego, [Calif],” The early results have been very strong, prompting us to expand this relationship. We were particularly pleased with our analysis of the digital system I-MAX is developing, which delivers an engaging and immersive experience that makes us very comfortable with their next generation product,” Mike Campbell, chief executive officer of Regal Entertainment Group, said.

In a recent press release IMAX Corporation’s co-chairman, Richard L. Gelfond, said: “Regal Cinemas has been one of the best I-MAX operators in the world, and the results of our first joint ventures reflect their talents. We are extremely pleased to be expanding our relationship, and we are excited about the new locations.”

Regal spokesperson, Dick Westerling, said Regal felt it was important to have an IMAX presence in Knoxville since the company is headquartered here.

Nunley said the current IMAX projectors use 70-millimeter film, which is 10 times larger than conventional 35-millimeter film.

“I-MAX delivers the clearest, brightest and steadiest images in the world.  The screen at the Pinnacle will be 60-feet high.  The powerful visual experience is complemented by I-MAX’s state-of-the-art digital surround sound system.

“Several of today’s biggest Hollywood releases, including “Superman Returns,” “V for Vendetta,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Batman Begins,” “The Polar Express,” “Spider-Man 2” and the Harry Potter series have been converted into I-MAX presentations through a system called I-MAX D-M-R or Digital Re-Mastering.  This is the way a feature film is transformed from the usual presentation into the big screen and big sound presentation that you find in an I-MAX theatre,” he said.

IMAX films slated to follow the theatre’s inaugural “I am Legend” feature are: “The Spiderwick Chronicles: The IMAX Experience,” premiering Friday, Feb. 15, 2008 and “The Dark Night: The IMAX Experience,” which is the newest Batman film, premiering Friday, July 18, 2008.

“Whether or not each film incorporates 3-D is decided by the studio and is often information which is only released close to the release date,” Nunley said.

He added additional films are likely to be added in the near future, though release dates for different film titles are selected by the studio and are subject to change.

“Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 will program I-MAX 2-D and 3-D films based on availability of product,” he said.

Pricing for IMAX presentations will differ from that of regular films, but Nunley said the exact pricing has not yet been determined.

 “The theme for I-MAX is “Think Big” and it certainly will leave a big impression on our East Tennessee moviegoers,” Nunley said.


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