How large must a city be before an IMAX theater becomes a good investment?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dick, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    I live in Maine. I am always reading about these terrific IMAX presentations, and I've been to IMAX theaters in other states. But the nearest one to me is a good three hours away. I'd love to see an IMAX in, say, Portland or South Portland. I wonder if it could be econimically feasible.
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    There's one in Halifax which might not be that far depending on where you're located in Maine
     
  3. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Hi Dick - there are four IMAX theatres in Massachusetts and another four in Quebec.. But Portland has under 100,000 people, so its unlikely you'll see an IMAX theatre in Maine anytime soon [​IMG]

    I'm in Vancouver, BC where we're lucky enough to have five IMAX theatres all within 30 miles, I guess because IMAX was invented in Canada!
     
  4. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    But there is only one IMAX in NYC that plays hollywood films, two if you count the one in the American Museum of Natural History, but that one only plays educational films.
     
  5. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    Tulsa has an IMAX with a population of just under 400,000 (city)/550,000 (county).
     
  6. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    We're getting one and we're around 25k! (yes, 25) Should be opening up this fall.
     
  7. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    ARGH!!! Freakin' Imax!!!!
    There is one in the Bay Area in SF! We tried to see Superman Returns there opening day, took off early from work, barted into the city, there was a one hour delay before they gave up and we all had to get a refund because they couldn't get it to work! Waited 1/2 an hr. for the refund, people were pissed! We got extra free screening passes and my gf wound up making a big stink to corporate and writing some local news outlets, not so much because it broke but because of the crappy and incompetent CS at the Loew's AMC theatre. A few days later we get a call from the manager who felt bad, invited us back as his "guest". We trek all the way back into SF on Saturday and I joked, "wouldn't it be funny if we get there and it happened again and people are on line to get a refund?" Guess what?!?! It DID!!! It broke down an hour before we got there, DURING a show and people were pissed! The transformer in the booth blew and they had no power at all! I raised hell, said we just spent $12.00 again to come into town, they guy felt bad, gave us 4 passes and comps to see POTC II... Imax in SF? Never again, We will stay on the other side of the bay. [​IMG]

    PS: a guy on line with us said that this was the 3rd time he had this happened to him at the IMAX theater!
     
  8. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    We have one in Buffalo, 300k in the city, 1.2mil metro.
     
  9. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    My parents are in Buffalo, and usually I'm the first to get everything. Not this time though -- DC's only IMAX theaters are in the Air and Space Museums, and mostly show educational films. But, one of them is actually showing Superman Returns in 3D IMAX now. So I get all exited about it, and go to the website to buy tickets, and what do I see in big red letters? "IMAX 3D Movies Will Not Be Shown in 3D."
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    We have one here in Boise, population 200K (metro 500K). I haven't been there yet.
     
  11. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    "My parents are in Buffalo, and usually I'm the first to get everything. Not this time though -- DC's only IMAX theaters are in the Air and Space Museums, and mostly show educational films. But, one of them is actually showing Superman Returns in 3D IMAX now. So I get all exited about it, and go to the website to buy tickets, and what do I see in big red letters? "IMAX 3D Movies Will Not Be Shown in 3D."

    Actually, the IMAX is in Amherst. This one is within a Regal theater.
     
  12. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Seems like most of the IMAX theaters are paired with some sort of museum, aquarium, etc. and not part of a national cinema chain. One of the theater's near me in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia fortunately shows first run presentations a couple nights a week and not just the educational fare. My only problem is I have to drive into the city pay bridge toll, parking and then the ticket/concession fee making it cost prohibitive except for very special releases.

    J
     
  13. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

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    We currently have an IMAX being built in a small town in MN called St. Micheal. I think the population is roughly about 7500. Its a suburb of the Twin Cities about 25 NW. This is part of a large movie plex they are also building. There is also talk of building one in Blaine, MN which is the proposed site of the potential Vikings Stadium.

    We'll have more then enough IMAX's here for a while

    Paul
     
  14. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    We have two IMAX theaters in Hampton Roads, one in Virginia Beach, and the other across the Elizabeth River in Hampton. Both are 20 minutes or so from my house.
     
  15. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    Our IMAX in Tulsa is part of the Cinemark chain and is connected to our largest theater, the Cinemark Tulsa. It was the first IMAX I had seen that wasn't connected to an educational facility.
     
  16. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I think an IMAX theater in Portland, ME could work if it were part of a new complex - that city, last I checked, has a couple of crappy Regals, the Nick, and The Movies (which I love for what they show, but...). There really isn't a good theater in the area at all, but I think a new megaplex there could draw from a good distance if IMAX was included. But I don't know about anyone building one up there, although supposedly Regal is looking to consolidate Falmouth and Clark's Pond into a new place.

    But then again, I live in Cambridge and have to take a commuter rail to Reading and then walk a mile to a furniture store to see a Hollywood IMAX movie. They really need to be attached to a new theater, and though Portland is somewhat underscreened, I don't know if it's enough to warrant a major new investment.
     

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