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World's largest 3D IMax to open in Hyderabad

June 10, 2003 17:10 IST

The much-touted Rs 36 crore Prasads IMax Theatre, claimed to be world's largest 3D screening facility,  is tentatively scheduled to be opened on June 27.

The theatre had its screen-raising ceremony today, an important event in the construction of the facility that is coming up at the NTR Gardens here.

The theatre now needs just a few finishing touches before being opened for the general public. Prasads is the third Imax theatre in the country after Delhi and Mumbai. It is the first in South India.

Addressing a media conference, A Ramesh Prasad, the chairman and managing director of Prasad Media Corporation, claimed that Prasads had the largest 3D screen in the world with 72 ft height and 92 ft width.

The theatre plans to exhibit eight shows of 45 minutes duration per day and will charge Rs 125 per person for 2D movies and Rs 150 for 3D movies. 'Adventures on Mount Everest' will be the first movie to be exhibited in the 635-seat theatre.

Neil Robins of IMax said that the theatre would feature a specially designed six-channel, multi speaker sound system. The 15/70 film image is ten times larger than a conventional 35 mm frame and three times bigger than a standard 70 mm frame.

There are currently more than 225 theatres of this format operating in 30 countries. More than 100 of these are equipped with 3D technology while the rest can exhibit pictures only in 2D format.

"A lot of English movies like 'Matrix Reloaded' and 'Terminator' are getting formatted into the IMax mode and we are expecting some of the Hindi and other Indian language films also to be formatted," Robins said.

According to Prasad, IMax has leased its motion picture projection system to Prasads on a 33-year lease for $ 4.5 million and earns royalty on per ticket basis after certain minimum revenue, which he did not disclose.

"We are not expecting the IMax as a revenue-earner but as a major tourist attraction and banking on the other five 35 mm theatres coming up in the same complex (multiplex), food courts and retail outlets," he said.

The total project cost including for all the facilities is about Rs 63 crore (Rs 630 million). The five multiplex theatres are expected be ready by end of August.

Chandana Khan, the principal secretary for tourism, said that Prasads was the first private tourism project taken up by the state tourism department under the public-private-partnership. The snow-dome project coming up at the lower tank bund road would be ready by September, she added.

BS Regional Bureau in Hyderabad