Cinematic Innovation

Iconic Austin theater closes for major transformation that's worth the wait

Iconic Austin theater closes for transformation that's worth the wait

Bob Bullock museum, Texas star, Texas State History Museum
New laser technology provides audiences with the most vivid digital images ever to appear on screen. Visual Images/Flickr

A brand-new technology is revolutionizing how people experience movies — and Austin is one of the first cities in the world to get it. Imax with Laser is a groundbreaking film projection technology coming to the Bullock Texas State History Museum this October.

The Bullock Museum Imax Theatre is the first venue in Texas to feature the laser technology, replacing the current digital projection system to bring the highest contrast level for images available anywhere. Designed for both 2D and 3D film, the result is a system that's close to 50 percent brighter with a larger color range, meaning audiences view colors never before seen on screen.

"This technology will offer the sharpest, brightest, clearest, and most vivid images ever created on screen," Josh Jacobs, Bullock Museum director of film and theaters, says in a release. "More contrast and a wider gamut of colors means more detail in the image and even more intense, lifelike images, creating a heightened level of realism that makes audiences feel like they are part of the movie."

The museum is also installing a system that will double the sound level and boost the sub-bass. Additional speakers, new 3D glasses, luxury seating, new carpeting, and expanded concessions are also planned to enhance the Bullock Imax.

The theater will close August 5-October 6 to prepare for the installation of Imax with Laser. When the Bullock Museum Imax reopens on October 7, the “biggest screen in Texas” will host the U.S. premiere of Texas director/writer Terrence Malick’s anticipated drama-doc Voyage of Time.

In the meantime, people can visit the museum’s Texas Spirit Theater to see the award-winning animated short World of Tomorrow by Austin filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt. An accompanying exhibit of Hertzfeldt’s original artwork will also be on display from August 5-October 7.