Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

IMAX theater opens in Oldsmar

OLDSMAR — Until Friday, there was no cinematic experience like it in North Pinellas.

If moviegoers wanted crystal-clear sound effects and larger-than-life images, they had to drive to downtown St. Petersburg, northwest Hillsborough County or other faraway locations.

Not anymore.

Friday, the area's first IMAX theater opened to the public at the AMC Woodlands Square 20, 3128 Tampa Road, Oldsmar.

"It's a pretty prestigious thing," Mayor Jim Ronecker said. "To get an IMAX is really something special."

Nationwide, only 100 of AMC's 306 theaters are slated for the conversion. In December 2007, IMAX and AMC announced a joint agreement to upgrade AMC's top performing locations.

Two bay area sites made the cut: the AMC Veterans 24 in northwest Hillsborough in September 2008 and the AMC Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar on Friday. No other locations in Florida are on the list, AMC spokesman Justin Scott said.

The enhancements didn't require crews to move walls and ceilings or put in multi-story theaters.

"A lot of people think of IMAX as these large domes," Scott said. "That's very true. (But) IMAX has a new business line. Essentially what they're doing is taking Hollywood blockbusters and making them even bigger and better."

At the AMC 20 in Oldsmar, that means one auditorium — No. 11 — will be dedicated to IMAX films. The theater's 19 other screens will retain their layout. The idea is to give audiences more choices. People can watch a movie in a traditional auditorium or in IMAX — all in the same location.

"We have put in a screen that is 25 percent bigger than the screen" in traditional auditoriums, Scott said. "As a result of that, the first few rows need to come out." Before the conversion, No. 11 sat 470 people. Now, it will seat 400.

Additionally, customized speakers were installed, extra acoustic paneling was added and an IMAX digital projection system replaced the traditional projection booth.

Combined, the upgrades will make audiences feel as if they are immersed in movies.

At the Oldsmar debut, audiences were treated to a premiere of Disney's A Christmas Carol, starring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge, in 3D.

"When you're looking at his nose, you can see the pores," Scott said. "It's unbelievable."

Friday's grand opening brought to two the number of Pinellas County theaters showing IMAX movies.

In May 2007, Muvico Baywalk 20 in St. Petersburg became the first theater in the county to offer IMAX projection.

Hillsborough County has three IMAX theaters: Channelside 10, the Museum of Science and Industry's IMAX Dome Theatre and the AMC 20.

Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

IMAX theater opens in Oldsmar 11/06/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 9, 2009 5:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Heights project gets $21.5 million in funding

    Real Estate

    TAMPA --- The Tampa-based Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa. Proceeds from the bond issue are expected to used for new roads, sidewalks, the Tampa …

    Tampa's Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa.
[Courtesy of Aerial Innovations, Inc.]
  2. Toledo feels like a second season opener for Miami Hurricanes

    Blogs

    LAKE BUENA VISTA - The schedule says Week 4, but it sure doesn't feel that way for the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes.

    The Miami Hurricanes suit up for practice Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex
  3. Top 5 at noon: Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North Korea; Irma's death toll in Florida rises to 42, but will grow; and more

    News

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

    U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Tuesday in New York City. [Getty Images]
  4. Key performances and a sizzling script elevate Heather Theatre's 'Disgraced'

    Stage

    TAMPA — When you step into the world of Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar's taut drama centered on two couples at a Manhattan dinner party, you never feel secure about where you sit. No one really can.

    The cast of Disgraced, Ayah Akhtar's Pulitzer-winning play at the Heather Theatre, includes (from left) Peter Alexander Kostis, Lynn Single, Shrey Neil, and Krystal Nicole Watts. Photo courtesy of the Heather.
  5. 10 National Monuments the Interior Department Wants to Shrink or Modify

    Nation

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed that President Donald Trump make changes to 10 national monuments, including Bears Ears in southern Utah, according to a memo addressed to the White House.