Soon you will be paying more and driving farther to see movies | Rock Candy

Soon you will be paying more and driving farther to see movies

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The new Chenal 9 IMAX movie theater opens on Friday* at the Promenade at Chenal shopping center (corner of Rahling and Chenal Pkwy.).

A digital tour on the theater's website promises typically bad movie theater carpet, flatscreeens everywhere in the lobby and lots of black lights.

The big appeal, of course, is the IMAX theater, which'll show Hollywood features and traditional, educational IMAX fare.

"Kung Fu Panda" opens in the theater on Friday. More showtimes here.

Ticket prices, for regular theaters, are $8.75 for adults (that's a quarter less than the Rave; oh the gumballs!). IMAX features will cost $12.50 for adults for Hollywood fare and $9.50 for traditional films.

Hollywood films shown in IMAX have almost exclusively been up-converted, or digitally remastered, which makes them visually and sonically sharper. But the date you should circle, to get the fuller IMAX experience, is July 18, when "The Dark Night" comes out. It's the first Hollywood film to be even partially shot using IMAX cameras. There are four action scenes using the technology.

According to this USA Today article about Batman and IMAX, don't expect this method to catch on anytime soon. There's not much market for it. Last year, there were fewer than 100 IMAX theaters worldwide showing conventional films. And the shooting is costly and difficult.

*Arkansas Business reported today, from a news release issued by the Promenade at Chenal's PR person, that the theater won't open until Monday. According the theater's website and phone recording, Friday's the day. I called about 20 people, hoping to get a real person to confirm, but haven't heard back.

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