Minnesota Zoo’s IMAX Theatre Goes Digital For Summer

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — A new experience at the Minnesota Zoo is coming just in time for the blockbuster summer movie season.

The zoo’s 3D IMAX theatre has officially gone digital. WCCO-TV’s Edward Moody went behind the scenes to check it out.

It’s not just the glasses that’ll make your next IMAX experience at the Minnesota Zoo stand out.

“We have a third generation IMAX digital projection system, so not just the big boxes, but a new screen, new sound system,” said Rodney Johnson with the Minnesota Zoo. “When a space shuttle launches, you’ll feel it. When Tome Cruise blows up an alien space ship, you’re going to feel it. You feel it in your bones kind of sound.”

The transition will be a bit of a space saver for the theatre. The old giant film reels are being replaced by digital cartridges, about the size of a VHS tape.

“We have a forklift to move the other film prints. This, I could pick it up, and I could but I wouldn’t. I could juggle them,” Johnson said.

And while the IMAX at the Minnesota Zoo will continue to show educational documentaries, it’s the blockbuster hits will show off the true power of this digital 3D.

“We started out with ‘Malficent.’ We’re now playing ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ with Tom Cruise,” Johnson said. “We’ve got ‘Transformers’ coming up, and every two to three weeks we’ll have another big Hollywood film coming.”

At seven stories tall, the Minnesota Zoo’s IMAX screen is still the largest in the state.

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