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IMAX theatre open to public from tomorrow

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD July 23. The Canada-based IMAX Corporation plans to launch three more theatres in India, including one in New Delhi, it was officially announced at the inauguration of the Prasad IMAX theatre near the Hussainsagar Lake by Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, today.

The CMD of Prasad IMAX theatre, Ramesh Prasad, said the theatre would be thrown open to the public from July 25 and each ticket is priced at Rs. 125 for viewing the film `Everest'. Screening of 3D films would begin with a few more weeks.

Speaking to presspersons after conclusion of the opening ceremony, he said the theatre would feature the world's most powerful film projector, which would project images from the latest film format onto a giant IMAX screen.

According to John M. Schreiner, Director, Sales, IMAX Corporation, these systems use very large film frames, 15-perforation, 70 mm format - compared with only five perforations for 70 mm - which help in projection of clear images. They are 10 times bigger than the 35 mm frames.

The film runs in a `rolling loop', a movement that is far smoother than normal projectors, producing clear and steady pictures.

The screen images are complimented by a specially designed six-channel sound system comprising 44 custom-designed speakers that put out 12,000 watts of uncompressed digital surround sound.

Mr. Schreiner disclosed that 700 million people across the globe had watched films in 235 IMAX theatres in 35 cities.

About the commercial viability of these films, he said surveys had revealed that people were ready to pay 55 per cent more and drive further to watch IMAX films. Space Station 3D, an IMAX film made with the participation of 16 nations, had grossed 40 million US dollars.

As of now, 250 films were available in IMAX format. With technology for conversion of 35 mm and 70 mm films into IMAX format, it would not be long before films like Harry Potter and Matrix Reloaded were screened in IMAX theatres.

IMAX cameras had shot scenes from the top of the world, Mt. Everest, to the bottom of the ocean to capture shots of the Titanic, he added.

Digitally mastered snippets from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Apollo 13 and the James Bond film, Never Say Die, were screened to show the stunning visual effect the new format can create on viewers.

Earlier, at the inaugural function, the Tourism Minister, T. Srinivas Yadav, said the joint venture between the Tourism Department and the Prasad IMAX theatre was a fine example of public-private cooperation.

He said the Government planned to develop a Rock Garden and a `Maya Bazar' complex on the banks of Hussainsagar Lake to give a boost to tourism. The Union Minister of State for Railways, B. Dattatreya, also spoke.

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