It appears that Blacksburg might get an IMAX theater, though it’s not clear how big a screen this theater is going to have.
Regardless, a number of Roanoke readers are no doubt gnashing their teeth this morning. Infamously, the Taubman Museum of Art was originally going to include an IMAX Theater, but by 2005 the museum organizers chose to drop that idea, saying it would be too costly to maintain. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a similar decision made to reduce the size of the $66 million building, and so there’s still an enormous unused space on the museum’s second floor where the IMAX projector was originally going to go. To this day, there are Roanoke residents who still haven’t forgiven the museum for that decision.
Staff writer Jeff Sturgeon quotes Bruce Frank, CEO of Frank Theatres of Jupiter, Fla., as saying the IMAX screen in the proposed CineBowl & Grille could be “up to 100 feet wide,” which implies it could indeed be a classic IMAX 72-foot high screen. There’s been controversy in recent years over people paying the higher ticket prices for IMAX shows only to discover the screens are hardly bigger than a regular movie screen.
Here’s Jeff’s story:
First & Main may soon host an IMAX
Developers say the shopping center needs a dose of entertainment.
By Jeff Sturgeon
Bringing the region’s first IMAX cinema, the First & Main shopping center in Blacksburg will add a 60,000-square-foot entertainment complex featuring a 12-screen movie theater, bowling alley, arcade, and bar and restaurant under plans announced Wednesday.
The luxury, open-air shopping center, which is half-occupied in its fifth year of operation, met with limited success as an eating and shopping destination. Now it is moving in a new direction: entertainment.
The new complex will have 10 regular movie screens and two ultrawide screens, one with IMAX sound and projection equipment; 16 lanes of bowling; and premium arcade games for children and adults. Food — American cuisine — and drink — a wine list and 25 craft beers — will be available for consumption in a movie, while watching sports on big screens or in a lounge.