It's Showtime at Luxor's IMAX Theatre, Nevada's First

Reed Travel Features

LAS VEGAS -- Luxor opened the Luxor IMAX Theatre, the first venue in Nevada to offer IMAX 3D films and one of only 20 theaters worldwide equip-ped to project the format.

Luxor IMAX replaces the property's Theatre of Time attraction.

The theater, which cost nearly $10 million to reconfigure, can accommodate 312 guests for regular IMAX films and 286 for IMAX 3D films.

The films are projected onto a screen that spans 84 feet in width and rises 68 feet.

The screen extends beyond the moviegoers' field of vision, creating the impression that they are in the picture.

Heightening the experience is IMAX's surround-sound audio system.

Six clusters of speakers are situated throughout the theater, and during IMAX 3D presentations guests wear headsets with built-in speakers and special lenses.

Guests can watch two films in the new Luxor IMAX Theatre: "Special Effects" in regular IMAX format and "L5: First City in Space" in 3D.

"Special Effects" is a documentary that opened in IMAX theaters worldwide last July.

The 40-minute documentary enables moviegoers to explore the world of movie illusions with visual effects from films.

Included are backstage looks at the making of movies such as "Independence Day," "Kazaam," "Jumanji" and the "Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition."

Audiences also will see King Kong's final battle as well as starship chase scenes choreographed with original "Star Wars" models in newly reshot IMAX format.

"L5: First City in Space" depicts a space city orbiting the earth.

A highlight of the film is a sequence during which viewers skim the surface of Mars at high speeds.

The sequence was constructed from real images and data gathered from the Viking space probe.

The two films will be shown hourly on a rotating schedule from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Prices are $7 per person for "Special Effects," $8.50 for "L5: First City in Space" and $13.50 for a double feature.

Luxor said it expects more than 600,000 visitors annually to Luxor IMAX, which is a joint-venture development between Luxor and Toronto-based IMAX Corp.

The new theater is one facet of an agreement reached by Circus Circus Enterprises, owner of Luxor, and IMAX Corp. last year.

The deal includes the joint operation of the Luxor IMAX Theatre as well as the installation of three IMAX Ridefilm motion-simulation theaters at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino's Grand Slam Canyon theme park.

The IMAX Ridefilm venues are set to open at Grand Slam Canyon this summer.

Under the agreement, IMAX also began a nationwide distribution of "In Search of the Obelisk," the movie ride that premiered at Luxor in 1993.

In its first 28 months of operation, "In Search of the Obelisk" lured more than 3.4 million people, making it the most attended entertainment attraction in Las Vegas, according to Circus Circus.

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