It’s OK to geek out just a little. No one will blame you.
The Great Lakes Science Center’s iconic domed theater spent more than a month getting a makeover: comfy seats, fresh carpeting and even a new moniker as the Cleveland Clinic Dome Theater. Exciting as that may be, it’s the laser-powered, three-projector system — with resolution nine times sharper than your high-definition TV — that really tickles our inner nerd.
“It’s going to be an extraordinary sensory experience,” says Kirsten Ellenbogen, president and CEO of the science center. “You can sit in the first couple of rows and feel entirely surrounded and enveloped by the film.”
Here’s a look at three advances that make it possible.
Laser projectors: Similar to how your phone stitches images together to create a singular panoramic photograph, these three projectors automatically calibrate the picture to fit the screen and blend the image edges for an immersive experience.
6K resolution: Using a single projector on a dome screen often means the picture must be stretched to fill the space causing pixel loss that makes the resolution appear grainy. Layering images from three projectors increases the number of pixels and gives the film a more lifelike quality that offers three times the resolution of the former 4K IMAX format.
High dynamic range: The new theater boasts new HDR technology. Currently limited to your smartphone screen, HDR has yet to be used by filmmakers. But it’s coming. With the laser-produced brightness of more than 100,000 lumens, these projectors increase the color contrast to make bright colors brighter and the dark colors darker on the screen, which looks closer to how we see them in nature.