The new giant screen at the Rave Motion Pictures cineplex at Fallen Timbers is scheduled to be finished by mid-November, providing the first wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor screen in the Toledo area.
One of the existing screens is being converted to the Imaxlike theater.
Jeremy Devine, vice president of marketing for
Dallas-based Rave, said, "We've actually ripped seats out, we've curved the screen, we're enlarging the sound system, and we're installing a higher level of digital projection."
The new theater is being described as Imaxlike, because while it is a big screen format, it is "not Imax-branded" equipment or installation.
The executive said Rave has developed its own large-screen format, and the first theaters in its chain to receive it are the Fallen Timbers 14 and a cineplex in Fort Worth. "Our only problem at this point is we haven't decided what to call it," Mr. Devine said.
The changes at Rave's theaters at Westfield Franklin Park in Toledo, at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, and at Fallen Timbers will provide an improved movie viewing experience. But they came the same year that Rave cut its local staffing, closed its popular Maumee complex because it had too many screens in metro Toledo, and eliminated for at least the next three months some movie ticket discounts.
Rave said it finished last week a $4.2 million conversion of all 42 of its Toledo-area screens to a digital projection format. The project includes adding 10 screens to the three it had locally with three-dimensional capability.
Digital projection, which uses a computer file rather than film, provides crisper and brighter images indefinitely, and requires no film rewinding. That conversion enabled the quick change in several theaters to 3-D projection, desired by movie-goers as movie makers produce more 3-D films.
"Last Christmas, people who went to Levis Commons to see Avatar in 3-D found that they couldn't," he said. "Now they will have that 3-D choice."
Levis Commons and Fallen Timbers, which both began the year without 3-D theaters, now have four apiece. Franklin Park, which had two 3-D theaters, now has five. Several 3-D movies will come out before the end of the year.
"Most people are not addressing the 3-D issue with their theaters, but we're big believers in it," Mr. Devine said.
Rave bought the local theaters in January from former owner National Amusements Inc.
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