MD Science Center brings in new digital IMAX projector, sound system

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Courtesy Maryland Science Center/Twitter

When fans head to the Maryland Science Center this weekend to see “Captain Marvel,” they’ll get to experience every fight scene and action sequence with crisp digital visuals and a state-of-the-art sound system in the museum’s five-story IMAX Theater.
In a press release, the science center said the new digital projector, which made its debut last night, will allow the IMAX Theater to screen first-run Hollywood movies and educational films it previously couldn’t show on film.

The newly installed IMAX sound system will “immerse audiences into the on-screen action like never before,” the release said, and movie-goers will enjoy it all more comfortably in reupholstered seats.

“For more than 30 years, our IMAX Theater has been integral to our mission, inspiring more than 10 million visitors with footage from inside the human body all the way to the international space station,” Mark J. Potter, president and CEO of the Maryland Science Center, said in a statement. “Thanks to our IMAX digital upgrade, we can deliver the latest, most exciting IMAX content and a first-rate movie-going experience.”

Per the release, the Maryland Science Center brought in IMAX technology in 1987, and the films arrived on 400-pound platters that had to be threaded into the projector. Now, they will come on a small hard drive.

While many megaplexes have transitioned over to digital from film, a debate still rages on in Hollywood over the merits of each format, and whether the switch is hurting small independent theaters. There’s also concern about what happens to older movies that the studios don’t bother to restore and convert to a digital format.

Upgrades for the theater were financed with an $890,000 grant from the State of Maryland, one of a handful awarded to cultural institutions in the city last year. In total, $6.4 million was awarded, with other recipients including the Hippodrome Theatre, which is developing a “community-oriented facility” in an underused banquet hall, and the National Aquarium, which has constructed a new, $20 million Animal Rescue and Care Center in Jonestown.

At the time, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, who was chairing the Board of Public Works for a vacationing Gov. Larry Hogan when the grants were approved, said in a statement, “Our citizens deserve world-class institutions that promote the arts and sciences, and these iconic organizations help Baltimore City continue to serve as Maryland’s cultural center.”

Brandon Weigel

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