OMNIMAX - Telus World of Science - Vancouver, Canada
N 49° 16.385 W 123° 06.175
10U E 492513 N 5457818
Quick Description: A 400 seat OMNIMAX located at Science World.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 6/2/2008 1:39:59 PM
Waymark Code: WM3XY9
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 170

Long Description:
The theater is part of the Telus World of Science but you can attend a showing without having to go to Science World if you wish.
The address is:
1455 Quebec St. Vancouver BC V6A 3Z7 CA 604-443-7443

Although the OMNIMAX theaters use the same film size as a regular IMAX, the projection and the experience is quite different from the regular IMAX. It was developed from a request from the San Diego Hall of Science in the late 1960s.
From the Wikipedia entry on IMAX:

"In the late 1960s the San Diego Hall of Science (now known as the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center) began searching North America for a large-format film system to project on the dome of their planned 76-foot tilted dome planetarium. One of the front-running formats was a double-frame 35 mm system, until they saw IMAX. The IMAX projector was unsuitable for use inside a dome because it had a 12-foot-tall lamp house on top. However, IMAX Corporation was quick to cooperate and was willing to redesign its system. IMAX designed an elevator to lift the projector to the center of the dome from the projection booth below. Spectra Physics designed a suitable lamphouse that took smaller lamps (about 18 inches long) and placed the bulb behind the lens instead of above the projector. Leitz of Canada developed a fisheye lens that would project the image onto a dome instead of a flat screen.

The dome system, which the San Diego Hall of Science called OMNIMAX, uses a fisheye lens on the camera that squeezes a highly distorted 180 degree field of view onto the 70 mm IMAX film. The lens is aligned below the center of the frame and most of the bottom half of the circular field falls beyond the edge of the film. The part of the field that would fall below the edge of the dome is masked off. When filming, the camera is aimed upward at an angle that matches the tilt of the dome. When projected through a matching fisheye lens onto a dome, the original panoramic view is recreated. OMNIMAX wraps 180 degrees horizontally, 100 degrees above the horizon and 22 degrees below the horizon for a viewer at the center of the dome. OMNIMAX premiered in 1973 at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center showing two OMNIMAX features, Voyage to the Outer Planets (produced by Graphic Films) and Garden Isle (by Roger Tilton Films) on a double bill.

IMAX has since renamed the system IMAX Dome. Many theaters continue to call it OMNIMAX.

OMNIMAX theaters are now in place at a number of major American museums, particularly those with a scientific focus, where the technical aspects of the system may be highlighted as part of the theme interest. The projection room is often windowed to allow public viewing and accompanied by informational placards like any exhibit. Inside the theatre, the screen may be a permanent fixture, such as at the St. Louis Science Center (which also plays a short educational video about the OMNIMAX system just before the feature film); or lowered and raised as needed, such as at the Science Museum of Minnesota (where it shares an auditorium with a standard IMAX screen). Before the feature begins, the screen is backlit to show the speakers and girders behind the screen. IMAX Dome screens may also be found at several major theme parks.

The OMNIMAX experience is quite different from that of a regular IMAX theater. The image wraps around both sides of the viewer and upwards as well, which can give the impression one is actually inside the scene being projected. (A plain IMAX screen is large but does not create such a natural feeling of immersion because the viewer is aware that the scene ends where the rectangular walls and ceiling begin.)

But despite their impressive capabilities and unique experience, the system seems that it might remain a novelty rather than a widespread commercial phenomenon. Relative to their size, OMNIMAX theaters are very expensive to build and maintain, and have a relatively small seating capacity. To make matters worse, only those seats closest to the center of the theater provide the full effect of the immersive view. Museums are able to run the theaters at a profit only because they are able to subrogate the construction expenses through grants and public fundraising and then show relatively inexpensive documentary films, often while still being able to keep admission prices lower than those of standard cinemas. In this way, OMNIMAX theaters have become a "cash cow" for financially strapped public institutions."

A couple of cool facts from the Telus World of Science website:
#1 The OMNIMAX Theatre seats 400 people. Its screen is 27 metres in diameter. The theatre’s sound system uses high-fidelity, six-channel, two-way sound with sub-bass to create an unparalleled surround sound experience. Twenty-eight speakers are located in clusters behind the theatre’s screen. A 45-minute film requires about four kilometres of OMNIMAX film stock.
#2 The 15,000 watt xenon lamp that lights the screen is so bright that if you placed it on the surface of the moon and focused it at a spot on Earth, you could actually see its light.

Rates are:

Valid June 8 – September 7.

Adult Youth(13–18)
Student (w/ID)
Senior (65+)
Child(4–12)
Ultimate Experience
General Admission+One OMNIMAX film
$24.50 $21.50 $19.50
OMNIMAX Only
(1 film)
$10.00 $10.00 $10.00
Additional Film
$5.00 $5.00 $5.00
Extra Big Movie Nights *
(2 films)
$15.00 $15.00 $15.00
*Available 7:30 pm Friday & Saturday

Children 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times. Children 3 and under are admitted free.

Valid until June 7. (See Admission Rates for June 8 – September 7)

Adult Youth(13–18)
Student (w/ID)
Senior (65+)
Child(4–12)
Ultimate Experience
General Admission+One OMNIMAX film
$21.75 $18.75 $16.75
OMNIMAX Only
(1 film)
$10.00 $10.00 $10.00
Additional Film
$5.00 $5.00 $5.00
Extra Big Movie Nights *
(2 films)
$15.00 $15.00 $15.00
*Available 7:30 pm Friday & Saturday

Children 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times. Children 3 and under are admitted free.

IMAX Theatre Type: IMAX - Dome platform

IMAX Theater Website: [Web Link]

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