The Walker Cinema reopens this Friday

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June 18, 2012 by Sarah M

Artist’s rendering of the completed Walker Cinema.

By Jeremy Zoss

The Walker Cinema, the in-house movie theater of the Walker Art Center, will reopen to the public this Friday after extensive renovations that began in January. The renovations improve all aspects of the movie-going experience, including projection, sound and seating upgrades.

The Walker Cinema now boasts three separate projectors, including a digital projector with Dolby 3D capabilities and 16- and 35-millimeter film projectors for the Walker’s extensive collection of archival film. The audio experience was upgraded with a state-of-the-art Meyer EXP system, something the Walker’s curator of film and video Sheryl Mousley said was sorely needed.

“One of the things that was always troubling to me was that the sound wasn’t perfect,” said Mousley. “For a film room, I wanted the sound to be as perfect as it could be.”

The new seats not only improve the cinema’s comfort, but also add to the audio experience. Like the new sound-absorbing wall panels, the seats reduce reverberation and improve the room’s acoustics.

Naturally, the centerpiece of the renovations is the new projection system, which allows the Walker Cinema display both cutting-edge digital movies and classic films. The new Dolby 3D system is actually more advanced than the 3D technology used in most multiplexes, with more information transmitted to the screen and a brighter, more solid image than standard 3D. The Dolby 3D system also uses high-end glasses with real glass, rather than the disposable plastic lenses found in most theaters.

How will the Walker Cinema utilize the new 3D system? That’s up to the artists, said Mousley. “We’re waiting for the artists to catch up,” she said. “We know that it will come into our realm a little bit more. You probably won’t see The Avengers at the Walker.”

The Walker Cinema will debut this weekend with a trio of disparate films: 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Iranian documentary “This Is Not a Film” and silent movie “Aelita: Queen of Mars.” Visit walkerart.org for ticket and showtime information.

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