Glasgow Journal: IMAX reopens at Glasgow Science Centre

The gigantic IMAX screen at Glasgow Science Centre has been officially reopened with the inaugural performance of Gravity, the anticipated blockbuster starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

The curved screen, which measures a massive 62’ by 82’, has been renovated to include the most advanced digital projection system, and is the largest of its kind in Scotland. The upgrade, which was completed in partnership with Cineworld, has been welcomed by movie maniacs and science lovers alike.

Glasgow Science Centre and Cineworld hosted the official opening on Thursday 18th October for a number of lucky guests who benefitted from a drinks reception, musical band, dancers and the Scottish premiere of Alfonso Cuarón’s latest sci-fi adventure, Gravity.

Focusing on two NASA astronauts and their failed space mission, Gravity provided the backdrop to showcase the state-of-the-art IMAX screen to its limits. With exceedingly sharp images, the gigantic curved screen and modern digital projection enhances the viewing experience, rendering it fully “immersive,” according to Crispin Lilly, Cineworld’s Vice President of Business Affairs.

“There’s two key elements to the IMAX cinema. The huge screen is governed by geometry and the sound system is out of this world. The blockbusters we show are specially converted for IMAX: they’re filmed with different cameras and go through particular post-processing. In short, you see a different film with IMAX. This is the go-to place for blockbusters.”

Although offering an unrivalled movie experience, Cineworld’s partnership with Glasgow Science Centre is also an important factor in the IMAX regeneration. An adjoining focus will be placed on the education programme which will “maintain and enhance the flexibility and frequency of films,” says Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive of the Science Centre.

“The first thing Cineworld did was employ an Education Officer to commit and sustain our educational values. Students have always enjoyed the IMAX, so we aim to extend our film catalogue.”

As an educational charity, Glasgow Science Centre presents curriculum aligned learning experiences for more than 100,000 Scottish students each year. This ranges from nursery content to more complex, secondary-level research.

The partnership provides several profits for both organisations. Cineworld’s return will drip from the commercial blockbusters and thus they have made a considerably “large investment” in the IMAX cinema, according to Lilly. However, with the relaunch and upgrade of the IMAX screen, Breslin states that his concentration can now return to boosting education.

“My focus is on the Science Centre – to sustain and promote interactive, engaging exhibits.” In addition to the planetarium, science shows and displays, the annual 250,000 visitors will now be able to profit from the regenerated cinema experience.

The upcoming year presents an exciting era for the city, which will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Both representatives are keen to endorse Glasgow and its informative attractions to visitors, whilst also maintaining interest for locals.

Lilly discloses that Cineworld are investigating the possibility of “streaming content live from the Commonwealth Games” to the IMAX screen, however it remains to be seen whether this concept is technologically viable.

The Cineworld IMAX at the Science Centre will eventually convert to IMAX’s next-generation laser digital projection system, which is the pinnacle of the industry’s cinematic experience. A date for this has not been confirmed, however with the digital marvel now revamped in the Science Centre – which Breslin says will provide “the best movie experience in Scotland” – it seems visitors will have enough cinematic curiosities to captivate them.

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