Riverfront Park IMAX to Close for Half of 2013 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Riverfront Park IMAX to Close for Half of 2013

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Families looking to be awed by the magic of the IMAX in  Riverfront Park next winter, had better make other plans.

The Spokane Park Board voted unanimously on Thursday to close the IMAX at Riverfront Park for six months in 2013. Employees tell KHQ the theatre would now only be open March through Labor Day.

The move comes after years of dwindling ticket sales and technology that's been outpaced by the digital age. 

The theater already runs a weekend-only schedule during the winter.

Board Member Susan Traver, who proposed the shortened schedule, said "While it may not be the perfect plan, the time has come for something to be done."

Traver said the move would save the city $90,000 next year.

Riverfront Park's IMAX still has the largest screen in the area and employees say the equipment "works great" but the projector can't play digital movies, which limits how many movies it can show.

Even more problematic is the fact that the theatre lost a contract in 2008 to play first-run Hollywood movies on IMAX, which has drastically cut ticket sales.

Instead, audiences have started going to the 3-D IMAX theatre inside the mall at Riverpark Square, where first-run movies are currently shown.

KHQ looked at latest numbers Thursday and found the IMAX in Riverfront Park has lost money for the fourth straight year.

Riverfront Park's IMAX can still show feature films second-run, but some have said that without an upgrade to digital technology, the theater could have to close for good.

 

 

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