After five months at the Imax theatre in Regina, if you didn’t see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you’re out of luck.
The movie ended its run on Saturday with its 318th showing there. With 26,021 tickets sold, more people saw Star Wars at Regina’s Imax than any other movie or documentary they’ve shown
Sandy Baumgartner is the CEO of the Saskatchewan Science Centre. She said having the movie was big for the centre. She didn’t want to talk about revenue, saying that it did bring in more, but it also cost more to put on.
“I think that the benefit was much bigger than (money) in terms of, it brought international attention to our theatre and to our community, which I think is phenomenal.”
Baumgartner said she thinks it also brought a new audience into the science centre.
“There’s a demographic that we probably don’t serve as well, so it got people in our building … got people to learn a bit more about the science centre, the Imax and what we do.”
The centre is working toward bringing people more experiences, and it expanded Star Wars into not just a movie, but also into a “Cantina Night” with food, actives, and alcohol (for those 19+) before showing the film.
Baumgartner said they’re committing to giving people experiences that they’re not going to get anywhere else in the city, and seeing Star Wars on a five-storey tall screen would certainly qualify. The Imax in Regina is also one of the few in North America which showed the film in the original 15/70 format instead of digital.
“The fact that we were able to show it in the best format in the world, in the film 15/70, is something that is unusual.”
Most theatres have switched over to digital projection, and while Baumgartner said that’s something they’re looking at, it likely won’t happen for a while.
“There will be digital, but we’re wanting to make sure that when we invest in the digital technology that it’s at the right for us.”
Star Wars wasn’t the theatre’s first foray into features. They’ve shown others like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 within months of its premiere, and The Dark Knight Rises when it was released. They also have an “After Dark” series where they show older films like Pulp Fiction and Raiders of the Lost Ark to adult crowds.
Baumgartner said they are interesting in showing more new features at the Imax.
“We would certainly like to, but the decision isn’t ours, studios make the decision on what theatres show their products, so it’s not a guarantee in any circumstance.”
There is another feature right on the horizon for Regina’s Imax theatre. Baumgartner said she confirmed on Tuesday that they would be playing Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice for a limited time, starting May 20.