Rave Motion Pictures is converting one of its East Ridge 18 theaters into an Imax theater just in time for the release of "Harry Potter 7: The Deathly Hallows Pt. 1" on Nov. 19, Rave marketing representative Dana McGough said.
Nationwide, Rave is installing Imax screens that can handle 2D and 3D movies, at 13 locations in the United States. Six will be opened in November, and the rest in early 2011.
The No. 10 theater at East Ridge 18 is being converted and will include Imax's latest projection technology, audio system and customized theater geometry, according to a news release.
The first three rows of seats have been removed to allow for the curved screen and to bring the audience closer, McGough said.
"Imax places a great emphasis on the geometry of the theater," she said. "They call it an immersive experience."
Jackson Myers, director of corporate communications for Imax Corp., said positioning speaker clusters in each back corner and behind the screen, as well as the positioning and curvature of the screen, have the effect of "putting the viewer into the movie."
The Rave Imax screen will be the second in Chattanooga. The Tennessee Aquarium Imax 3D Theater opened downtown 14 years ago. Thom Benson, aquarium communications manager, said the theater will continue its focus on educational films.
McGough said she believes the Rave Imax theater will complement the downtown Imax.
"We won't be going after the field-trip market and don't plan to show documentaries," she said.
Upcoming Imax releases scheduled to be shown at the East Ridge 18 include "Tron: Legacy," "The Green Hornet," which is set to open in December, and "Mars Needs Moms."
Benson said Imax 3D Theater is the only certified Giant Screen Theater in the area and one of only three in Tennessee. The distinction is given by the Giant Screen Cinema Association, which requires that certified theaters have a screen that is a minimum of 70 feet wide or at least 3,100 total square feet. The Imax 3D Theater is 89 feet wide by 66 feet tall.
Myers did not have the dimensions of the East Ridge Imax screen at press time.