Just in time for the holidays, AMC Mayfair in Wauwatosa is unveiling an IMAX screen, aiming to lure viewers amid the intense competition for 3-D movie releases.
An IMAX screen at the Mayfair Mall movie theaters will be the second in the Milwaukee market. The Humphrey Imax Dome Theater
at the Milwaukee Public Museum is devoted to educational films and occasional second-run feature films.
This one won’t be an IMAX dome or a high-rise, but the screen will be 25% larger than a typical movie screen, said Justin Scott, an AMC spokesman. No walls or ceilings will be moved at Mayfair to accommodate the screen, but all new IMAX digital projection and audio equipment will be installed. The theater will be reconfigured to seat 340 people, he said.
Construction has yet to begin, but plans are for the IMAX theater to open as soon as Oct. 16 or as late as Nov. 6, Scott said. The first 3-D film scheduled to run on the screen is "Where the Wild Things Are,"
based on the popular children’s book by Maurice Sendak.
It typically costs an extra $4 per ticket to see IMAX movies at AMC’s theaters, Scott said, although pricing hasn’t been set at Mayfair yet.
The IMAX Corp. is a publicly traded entertainment company that offers movie-viewing technology and also serves as a distributor of films. As of June 30, there were 394 IMAX theaters (273 commercial, 121 institutional) operating in 44 countries, according to the company’s Web site.
As much as anything, IMAX is also a brand.
Movie makers and theater companies have been trying to draw viewers with an ever-growing list of 3-D releases.
This summer, Milwaukee-based Marcus Corp. added digital 3-D systems throughout its theaters the Midwest, and it now offers the feature in five of its Milwaukee-area theaters: Majestic Cinema in Brookfield, the Menomonee Falls Cinema, the Ridge Cinemas in New Berlin, the North Shore Cinemas in Mequon and the South Shore Cinemas in Oak Creek.
Among forthcoming 3-D movies this year: "The Final Destination," "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," "Astro Boy," "A Christmas Carol," "Planet 51" and "Avatar," as well as re-releases of Pixar's "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2."
"Avatar," director James Cameron’s ambitious live-action computer animation extravaganza, has created particular buzz since portions of the film were shown at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego last month.