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Regal premiers IMAX for charity


Regal Cinema’s Pinnacle Stadium 18 celebrated the opening of its new IMAX theatre, while contributing to local charity, by offering $2 screenings of digitally re-mastered versions of “Spider-Man 3” and “300” on the new 60-foot tall IMAX screen, Wednesday, Dec. 12, through Thursday, Dec. 13. Proceeds from the screenings were donated to the Empty Stocking Fund.

The initial screenings meet with mixed reviews.

“I enjoyed it, I was just a little bit disappointed with the screen, I expected more of an encompassing screen than what was here, but as far as the impact of it, it was great,” Steve Eldridge, who attended the first screening of “Spider-Man 3” said.

The screen size seemed to be the major complaint the early viewers had.

“The screen is bigger than the usual screen. I have seen other I-MAX movies before [and this screen] is smaller than the others I have seen,” Nathan Vanderford said.

Vandeford added it was about what he expected having seen other IMAX films and knowing ahead of time the screen was going to be smaller.

Sam Jones, having seen the movie before on the regular screen, had hoped the larger version would be more impressive.

“I enjoyed it, but the screen was not open all the way and I asked [a Regal employee] about it and he said this film was not formatted for an I-MAX, so it was not a true I-MAX movie. I was a little disappointed in not seeing the true I-MAX.

“I think they could have opened with something a little different, and maybe with ‘I Am Legend’ movie it will be [true IMAX].”

Richard Grover, Regal’s director of marketing and communications, said when a film is digitally re-mastered as an IMAX, as opposed to being a true IMAX film, the film is not always the same size and theatres have to work within the parameters of the studio re-mastering the film.

Barbara Munsey, an avid IMAX fan, was not disappointed in the least with the screening.

“I am just glad Knoxville has an I-MAX now. We used to drive all the way to Nashville to see I-MAX movies,” she said.

Her son, 10 year-old Austin Munsey, minced no words in his opinion of the screen.

When asked if he thought there was a noticeable difference between the IMAX version of “Spider-Man 3” and the regular theater version, he simply said, “No.”

Jones, though disappointed with the film itself, had rave reviews for the sound system.

“The sound system was wonderful. The sound was 100 percent better probably than any movie I have seen.” he said.

The “sweet spot,” ac-cording to Pinnacle Stadium 18 general manager, Jason Hasko, is the first row on the up-per level of the stadium, because the sound system was calibrated from that row.

However, for customers who prefer to have their volume turned up even louder, the back row may be just as sweet.

“We just added two huge new sub-woofers in the back, so I do not know if I would really want to sit on the back row,” Hasko said.

Regardless of the reviews of “Spider-Man 3,” the IMAX theatre has drawn crowds.

“For the two charity days we had a fantastic turnout of close to 1,700 people experience the I-MAX presentations of “Spider-Man 3” and “300,” Grover said.

Grover added by the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 13, the midnight and 7:30 p.m. showings of the Friday, Dec. 14, premiere of “I Am Legend: The IMAX Exper-ience” were sold out.

Ticket prices for IMAX films are $12.50 for adults all day and $10 for children under 12 and seniors, all day.

“I think it is definitley worth the extra money for the I-MAX,” Munsey said. “It is not that much more than the cost of a regular movie, Munsey said.

Grover said Regal plans to show feature IMAX films in the theatre, but will have older films available also.

 

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