World’s first IMAX-Dome theater being renovated
SAN DIEGO, CA — The world’s first IMAX-Dome theater is undergoing a complete renovation and will reopen completely remodelled in December.
The theater in Balboa Park at the Fleet Science Center will boast a new screen, sound system, seating and carpeting. The cost of the project is estimated at $20 million. This is the first renovation since it was built in 1973.
IMAX-Dome is a rebranding of the original OmniMax format developed by the IMAX Corporation. The system uses a “fisheye” lens to project images on the inside of a planetarium-like domed theater. The format was specifically developed for the Fleet Science Center which wanted a large-format film system to use in its planetarium.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of films that have been made in the OmniMax format, most dating back to the 1970s and 1980s. Nearly all OmniMax theaters now project regular “flat” IMAX films onto the curved dome leading to distorted, curved images. The number of IMAX theaters far outnumber OmniMax theaters, and economically it makes more sense for companies to make their features in IMAX rather than OmniMax. Relatively few people these days may have even seen a movie in the true OmniMax format.
(Thanks to straightedge217 for providing the photo.)