New IMAX theater brings eye-opening entertainment to Kent

Kent TV 21 crew

Kent TV 21 crew

Tickets will cost more, but Kent moviegoers can experience movies in a new way with the grand opening Wednesday of a IMAX theater at AMC Kent Station 14.

“I think it’s where I’ll be every weekend, it was awesome,” said Dea Drake, city of Kent multi-media manager, who donned special glasses to watch a free, 45-minute screening of “Space Station 3-D” Friday during a lunch break. “The 3-D is amazing.”

Ticket prices at Kent Station 14 for IMAX movies are $14 for adults, $13 for senior citizens ages 60 and older and $11 for children ages 2-12. Those prices are $4 higher than tickets for regular films.

The film “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” opens Wednesday at the IMAX theater. That film will be in 2-D rather than 3-D, but still feature sharper images and better digital surround sound than most movies.

“You can see a difference compared to 35-mm film or digital,” said Stephen Smith, general manager of Kent Station 14.

Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke proclaimed Wednesday as AMC/IMAX Day at the June 16 City Council meeting.

AMC and IMAX reached a joint-venture agreement to install 100 digital projection systems at 33 locations in major U.S. markets through 2010. The AMC Southcenter 16 complex also features a IMAX theater.

Upcoming Hollywood movies to be released and shown at Kent in IMAX’s format include “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” at a date to be determined this summer; “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” on Nov. 6; “Avitar” on Dec. 18; “Alice in Wonderland” on March 5, 2010; “How to Train Your Dragon” on March 26, 2010; and “Shrek Goes Fourth” on May 21, 2010.

“With all of the technology, you’re always looking to upgrade the presentation,” Smith said about the wave of IMAX theaters across the nation. “It’s more intense and the sound system is the best quality.”

When Drake wore the 3-D glasses, the “Space Station” movie came right up to the front of her face. When an astronaut tossed an orange at the camera, Drake reacted.

“I almost moved when that orange came at me,” Drake said. “I’m not sure how to describe the difference, but it’s like watching something completely different.”

Smith figures the new theater to attract a lot of moviegoers.

“We expect a lot of sellouts,” Smith said.

JR Obligaciun, manager at Kent Station 14, recently watched “Space Staion” and came away impressed.

“Watching 3-D is a great experience,” he said. “It brings it to life. It feels like you’re in that movie.”

For more information and movie schedules, go to

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