Sydney IMAX Cinema at Darling Harbour to reopen after seven year renovation

An iconic Sydney venue that shut its doors more than seven years ago will finally reopen after an extensive renovation.

The city’s only IMAX cinema first opened in 1996, but just two decades later was demolished as part of a major harbourside renovation.

Reopening on Wednesday, the new IMAX cinema boasts a whopping 692m2 screen – among the world’s largest screens.

The cinema, which will be operated by Event Cinemas, will use new Laser technology and has a range of seat types.

Event Cinemas CEO Jane Hasting said the new site sets a “new benchmark for immersive cinema entertainment”.

The opening comes after years of speculation about the future of the Darling Habour-side cinema complex.

The cinema, and adjoining new W Sydney building, had been the centre of a years-long ownership dispute.

Those construction ownership issues, along with the Covid-19 pandemic, pushed back the opening of the new precinct.

On Sunday, Sydney residents reported online seeing fencing around the site removed ahead of the building’s opening.

IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond described the cinema as having also been the “cultural centre” of the Harbour City.

“IMAX Sydney immediately joins the ranks of our flagship locations,” Me Gelfond said.

“It‘s a shining example of what the theatrical experience should aspire to.”

Tickets for opening night went on sale earlier in the week, with Avatar 2 and Top Gun Maverick being among the first films to be shown.

The hotly anticipated Taylor Swift The Eras Tour film will also air at the cinema ahead of the pop-star’s Australian tour next year.

IMAX cinemas use larger screen types and a different aspect ratio in conjunction with sound and laser projection technologies.

There is currently only one other IMAX cinema in Australia, which is located in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton.

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