OMNIMAX Theater Facts

The Facts and Figures Behind the Cleveland Clinic OMNIMAX® Theater

Technology
The Cleveland Clinic OMNIMAX® Theater features the most sophisticated and powerful motion-picture projection system in the world, providing super-sized images and exceptional visual and audio quality. The Theater features a six-story-high domed screen, while an IMAX theater has a flat screen.

Location
Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Avenue, at North Coast Harbor in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

Opening Date
June 27,1996

Architect
E. Verner Johnson and Associates, Inc., Boston, MA

Associate Architect
Robert P. Madison, International, Inc., Cleveland, OH
Construction
Morse Diesel International, Inc., Cleveland, OH

Seating

  • 320 upholstered reclining seats
  • 6 handicapped-accessible spaces
  • 13 tiered rows of seats
  • 30-degree tilt of theater floor

Screen
79-foot-diameter, tilted, domed screen, six-stories-high

Dome Construction
441 individual panels of 23-percent void perforated aluminum. Panels are only 38 percent reflective to enhance contrast and produce startlingly realistic images.

Film Projection System
The OMNIMAX® projector is the largest projector ever made, advancing super-sized 70mm images horizontally through the projector at 24 frames, 5.6 feet of film per second.

Unique "rolling loop" projection system uses compressed air instead of mechanical sprockets to advance the film horizontally in gently rolling waves. During projection, each frame is positioned on fixed registration pins. The film is held firmly in place against the rear element of the lens by a vacuum.

Take Up Reel
Six-foot take-up reels hold more than 50,000 feet of film, a maximum of 150 minutes, weighing 590 pounds.

Film Size
OMNIMAX®/IMAX films use special 70mm film, the largest available. OMNIMAX®/IMAX film size is three times larger than the 35mm film used in standard movie theaters and films.

The sheer size of an OMNIMAX® film frame, combined with the unique projection technology, is the key to the extra sharpness and clarity of OMNIMAX® images.

Film size is 1.96 inches by 2.74 inches. Film has 15 perforations per frame. Standard film has five perforations per frame.

Projector
Projector weighs 4,200 pounds and is stationed on an elevator that raises it 18 feet from the projection room floor into position in the theater. Visitors are able to watch the OMNIMAX® projection and sound equipment in operation from behind a glass partition.

Images are projected to fill 86 percent of the surrounding dome screen.

Light Source
Projector uses a 15,000-watt Xenon short-arc lamp that is water-cooled. The strong light provides the sharpest and brightest images.

Lens
The ISCO-Optic IDO 2000 dome projection lens is a 180-degree fish-eye lens, f2.8, 25.6 mm focal length.

Sound System
High-fidelity, six-channel sound by SONICS has four screen channels and two surround channels. The sound track of an OMNIMAX® film is on a separate tape or digital disc because there is no room on the film for an audio strip. A computer keeps the sound system synchronized.

The Cleveland Clinic OMNIMAX® Theater has full digital capabilities for sound, which provides wider audio frequency range with less distortion and coloration.

11,600 watts of audio power is delivered through 44 speakers in seven clusters. Six clusters of speakers each contain four 12-inch woofers, one mid-frequency horn and one high-frequency horn. The seventh cluster contains eight 18-inch subwoofers.

Each cluster is a "three-way speaker system" meaning sound is sent to three different types of speakers, depending on the frequency of sound. Sub-bass is a "fourth way." Sub-bass frequencies are pulled from all six audio channels and sent to the sub-bass speakers.

Speakers are located behind the domed screen.

Six digital, programmable, one-third octave equalizers provide customized audio control for the unique environment for the OMNIMAX® Theater.

Audio Source
IMAX AE-1 digital audio engine uses DVD and hard drive media for custom synchronized soundtrack playback.

  • 1 auxiliary CD player
  • 1 half-inch, 8-track, reel-to-reel tape deck
  • 1 magnetic audio dubber 
  • 1 cassette deck

Media Source
IBM-compatible computer coordinates all auxiliary sound, visual and lighting systems. Sixteen 35mm-slide projectors, along with sound, lighting and intercom functions, are monitored through a media-controlled console. The media system is fully automated with SPICE hardware and software.