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Exploris' IMAX Theatre: A 'Sound' Investment

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RALEIGH — A big attraction is taking shape in downtown Raleigh. Construction of the new IMAX theater atExplorisis on schedule. Some say the $12 million cost of the theater is a "sound" investment.

The noise from cars and construction in downtown Raleigh, can be quite distracting, but an island of quiet is on the way.

"The idea is to keep all other sound out," says Exploris President Anne Bryan.

Bryan says the IMAX theater will be the most soundproof building in town. Sirens and horns from outside will have to fight through multiple walls -- 3 feet thick -- and through cavities of dead air.

"That dead air space will help keep sound from moving through," she says.

Even the air that cools and heats the building will be silent. Loud air-conditioning units will be on the second floor of another building.

Bryan says it is all to enhance the IMAX experience that crowds in other cities have come to enjoy.

Natural sounds will come from a huge speaker underneath a 55-by-75-foot screen.

"That's the cabinet that weighs well over a ton and will give us the incredible sub-bass quality that'll add so much to the sound," says Bryan. "In fact, this room will literally vibrate."

When the movie is over and life roars on outside, Bryan says IMAX will be quieter than a library reading room.

The $12 million cost of the IMAX theater is being covered by the Wake County hotel and meals tax.

The complex is expected to open in late November 2001.

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Rick Armstrong, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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