By Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel
12:32 PM EST, December 13, 2012
Orlando Science Center is set to debut its Digital Adventure Theater, where it will show 3-D documentaries and second-run Hollywood films to its guests.
The Digital Adventure Theater, which opens to the public Friday, will feature works in 4K resolution, which is said to be four times the quality of standard high-def. It's located in the space that was the science center's Darden Adventure Theater, live-performance venue since the building opened in 1997."
"It was really underutilized. It seated 225 people, and it was probably being used once a day," says Jeff Stanford, science center spokesman. “What we have now is a state of the art, digital 3-D theater with 4K projection, which is the absolute latest and greatest technology you can get right now." The theater, which was essentially gutted, has new seating and new flooring along with the XpandD X101 series of 3D active glasses.
The first big-screen film set for the new theater is "Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace," a natural tie-in to the science center's current exhibit "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination." Documentaries such as "Space Junk 3D" and "Tornado Alley 3D" also will be seen there. The space will be considered a "second-run theater," Stanford says, with movies arriving six to eight weeks after their initial release.
“We want the film to really line up well with the science center." Stanford says. "Maybe not everything will have a science connection, but you’ll understand why the science center has it.” That could include sci-fi and superhero flicks, he says. Hollywood films will be shown on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, and educations films will continue to run daily.
The new screen "flies into the rafters," Stanford says, so the Digital Adventure Theater will be able to host live science programming such as "Kaboom!" and "Chill Factor."
Science center guests will be able to take in "The Polar Express 3D," starring Tom Hanks, which will screen daily between Dec. 21 and Jan. 6.
“We wanted to do some holiday content; we wanted to do something family friendly,” Stanford says. “It’s become this annual favorite. There are a lot of museum theaters …. that show it every Christmas.”
One Hollywood film is included in regular science-center admission: $27 general, $20 ages 3-11, which includes access to all Orlando Science Center exhibits.
Eventually, the Dr. Phillips CineDome will undergo a digital overhaul, Stanford says.
“It’s going to happen, but we’ve got to raise the funds to make that happen," he says. "It’s part of the long-term strategy.”
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