Published on September 29th, 2016 | by admin
IMAX Melbourne Largest Cinema Screen on Earth!
The silver screen housed in the Melbourne Museum’s IMAX theatre is now officially the largest cinema screen in the world following the three-year closure of the IMAX theatre in Sydney on Sunday.
“For the next three years, IMAX Melbourne will be the custodians of the title of World’s Largest Screen. We are looking after the title while the IMAX theatre in Sydney is demolished and rebuilt ”, says IMAX Melbourne General Manager Richard Morrison.
Melbourne’s IMAX is an independent, single screen theatre located in the Melbourne Museum’s west wing. The screen measures 32 metres wide by 23 metres high and has very recently been upgraded to ensure the best possible on-screen presentation in the global market.
IMAX Melbourne opened in 1998 and has been owned and operated by Museum Victoria since 2004.
In 2002 Richard Morrison, formally of IMAX Brisbane, headed south to manage the struggling IMAX Melbourne theatre which at the time only screened documentary films. Morrison, a 17 year veteran of the IMAX universe, saw the huge potential in exhibiting Hollywood feature films and pushed studios to provide IMAX Melbourne with large format 70mm film prints.
On Christmas Eve in 2004, IMAX Melbourne opened with the Tom Hanks film POLAR EXPRESS 3D and saw huge
success over the summer holiday period. Two full years later in December 2006 A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM in 2D
hit the giant screen and was followed three months on by the Gerard Butler film 300 in March 2007.
“ The flood gates were opened after the huge success of these three films, distributors saw the value of exhibiting Hollywood feature films in IMAX. This all culminated in the 3D release of AVATAR in 2009 where we saw 152 consecutive sell-out sessions in the opening six weeks and took $2.2 million at the Australian Box Office ”, says Morrison.
In 2012 Morrison negotiated the contract for what was at the time the concept for the next generation of cinema projection technology – the IMAX LASER, a system with a laser light engine rather than the traditional Xenon lamps making for an unparalleled viewing experience. Though at the time this cutting edge system was still in development, Morrison anticipated the need for innovation and growth.
Three years later in September of 2015 the IMAX LASER was installed.
“ We were early adopters, I’m very proud of that fact. We were the first theatre outside of North America
and the fifth in the world to install an IMAX LASER Projection System – the on-screen presentation in this
format is phenomenal ”, says Morrison.
In December 2015, IMAX Melbourne screened STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS 3D, taking $1.9 million at the
Australian Box Office and attracting a record breaking 19,000 admissions in its opening week which included
96 hours of non-stop trade from opening day to meet demand.
“ We are very proud to offer cinema-goers the most immersive and visually spectacular film watching experience available. With the world’s largest silver screen and the most powerful and technologically advanced projection system on the planet, IMAX Melbourne is a force to be reckoned with ”, says Morrison.
IMAX Melbourne has played host to six million visitors in its 12 years of operation.