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Media Room - Omnitheater Digital Laser Projection Conversion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2014

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Media Contacts
Kim Ramsden, PR Director, (651) 221-9423
Sarah Imholte, PR Coordinator, (651) 221-9412
Peg Roessler, Roessler Public Relations, (612) 200-8600

SCIENCE MUSEUM OF MINNESOTA ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH IMAX TO CONVERT OMNITHEATER FROM FILM TO DIGITAL LASER PROJECTION SYSTEM

Omnitheater will be the first of its kind in the world to use this next-generation technology

Saint Paul, Minn. – The Science Museum of Minnesota announced today that it will install IMAX's next-generation digital laser projection system in the William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater. When the conversion from the current film projection system is complete, the Omnitheater will be the first IMAX laser dome theater in the world, which will further enhance its signature immersive movie experience by allowing for greater brightness and clarity, a wider color gamut and deeper blacks.

"Viewers don't simply watch films in the Omnitheater," says Mike Day, senior vice president at the Science Museum. "They are immersed in the picture and pulled into the heart of the action. Because of this unique experience, the Omnitheater holds an undeniable place of appreciation in the hearts and minds of the millions of viewers it has served since it opened in 1978. We want to keep it that way for generations to come, and converting to the latest technology that IMAX has custom-designed for giant dome-screen theaters allows us to do that."

Digital laser technology
The new digital laser projection system from IMAX allows for even better contrast, brightness, clarity and color—features that viewers have come to expect in the Omnitheater. It will also open the Omnitheater up to a whole new inventory of digital film content that will become available in the coming years.

In 2015, crews will expand an upper projection booth to make way for the new system and assorted capital improvement projects, including new carpeting and seat renovation, will take place. The museum will then begin to beta test the new technology.

Community support makes digital upgrade possible
Since its opening in the Science Museum's current riverfront facility in 1999, the Omnitheater has welcomed an average of more than 500,000 viewers each year. In addition to being a beloved part of Minnesota's cultural fabric, the Omnitheater is a leader in the giant screen industry. The Science Museum has produced more giant screen films than any other museum in the world. Its films have been seen in 148 cities in 31 countries around the world and have been translated into 14 languages.

Thanks to the longstanding support of 3M, funds from the State of Minnesota's Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, and gifts from private donors, the Science Museum is able to make the necessary upgrades to help the Omnitheater maintain its position as a beloved resource to our community and to the giant screen industry worldwide.

The Science Museum of Minnesota inspires hundreds of thousands of science learners each year. Among the nation's largest and most esteemed science museums, the Science Museum conducts research, collects and preserves artifacts, produces and distributes award-winning exhibits and giant screen films, and offers educational programs for children, families, and adults. For more information, visit www.smm.org.

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