Unlike traditional flat-screen IMAX® theaters, the new, state-of-the-art Hackworth IMAX® Dome Theater features a giant eight story domed screen and six-channel, digital wrap around sound with 13,000 watts of power coming from 44 speakers. It seats 295 people in special reclining chairs that accentuate the feeling of actually being in the movie. The Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater is the only theater of its kind in Northern California.
The technology that makes IMAX unique comes into play during the production process, when film 10 times the size of standard movie images is loaded into a 52-pound camera. Each IMAX film frame is roughly the size of a business card. IMAX film cartridges, which weigh nearly five pounds when fully loaded, shoot only five to seven minutes of footage each.
Projecting the film is a technological feat in itself. The movie is stored on reels the size of tractor tires that must be loaded onto a hand-built projector as big as a Volkswagen Beetle. The loading process is done beneath the theater, inside a dust-free projection and operator's room and visible through windows as the audience prepares to enter the Hackworth. At the start of the show, the entire two-ton projection package is lifted on an elevator some 22 feet into a box, called a "dog house,'' built into the theater's seating area.