Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater

6th Street and Independence Avenue,
Washington, DC 20560

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Located in the National Air and Space Museum. Opened on July 1, 1976 with the first major IMAX hit movie “To Fly” (which they still play sometimes), this theater is currently the oldest IMAX theater in the US.

Contributed by Justin Fencsak

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Giles on January 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm

screen dimensions is 74ft by 48ft

Giles on December 27, 2015 at 10:26 pm

from the Smithsonian’s Facebook page:

“Last chance to experience 15/70mm film at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater!

‪#‎TheForceAwakens‬ will be our final show in film on January 10th. On January 11th we close our doors to upgrade our facility to the state-of-the-art IMAX with Laser digital projection system!"

sign of the times…

JodarMovieFan on December 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Did you see Star Wars at any of the real IMAX venues, Giles? If its masked, the actual viewing size may not be worth the trip.

Laser should make it on par with the Grauman, er TLC Chinese and Seattle Cinerama or closer to. I’m thinking the Cinerama still has true film projection.

Giles on January 4, 2016 at 10:16 pm

I haven’t yet Jodar – I’m eyeing seeing ‘The Force Awakens’ this coming Saturday here

I was under the impression that the aspect ratio “1.43 : 1 (some scenes: IMAX 70mm)” [as indicated on IMDB] meant full screen – right?

“IMAX 70mm” also pertains to the IMAX-laser systems that are projected on 4:3 screens.

Giles on January 13, 2016 at 2:28 pm

of the two laser installs, this is going to be the longest, with a stated ‘March 2016’ reopening time frame. As it’s the oldest IMAX screen of the Smithsonian’s the conversion will be more complex than Udvar Hazy’s.

Giles on February 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

according to the Air & Space’s theater website the theater is reopening on February 25th and will be showcasing the new laser system with ‘The Force Awakens’ (beginning on Friday) til Sunday night.

JodarMovieFan on February 16, 2016 at 11:45 pm

Wow. This should be interesting. May be worth a visit. 3D Laser. This is the similar system they use at the Chinese and Seattle Cinerama? I had thought the Cinerama was a custom job.

Giles on February 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm

the Chinese is a legit IMAX system and install, the Seattle Cinerama which yes a custom installation: features a Christie 6P laser projector and Dolby Atmos. I got an email today stating the theater is up and running as of today. After the brief run of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (Fri-Sun) a return engagement the Lockheed will:

“Beginning in March, the theater will have “Sci-Fi Sundays” in which fan-favorites such as The Martian will play at 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoons. Experience The Martian in IMAX 3D March 6, 13, 20, and 27.”

Giles on March 2, 2016 at 9:28 am

annoyingly ‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ wont be playing here [damn it]

Giles on April 21, 2016 at 8:39 pm

finally checked out the new laser upgrade today and I have some mixed feelings about it, more so about what and how IMAX remastered ‘To Fly!’.

The beginning which is a small section of the screen, looks hideous, it looks like blown up VHS quality (it never looked like this in it’s 15/70 print) – but when it expands to full screen, the difference is immediate and stunning. A couple of instances there is judder as the camera pans across tree shots. Very minor speckles appear, but in no way hinder the picture. It’s just odd that the remastering process didn’t digitally erase them. The scene with the skydiver, the skydiver is double imaged – that had me equally bewildered. It’s the type of anomaly you’d see in a 3D presentation when ghosting occurs, here it defies description as to why it’s present, at all (I never noticed it in 15/70 form).

The huge difference is the sound, it sounds glorious and even though the overhead sound cues are subtle and more atuned to in keeping and retaining it’s original 6-track sound configurement – the panning and placement of the music to the new side wall channels is astounding. It gave more appreciation and fondness to Bernardo Segall’s music score.

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