Replacing the World's Biggest IMAX Screen Is As Difficult As It Sounds

At almost 97 feet tall and 117 feet wide, the screen at the Darling Harbour IMAX Theater in Sydney is the largest in the world. And after 16 years of service, it needed to be replaced.

Planning for the upgrade took almost an entire year, and hanging the $250,000 1,760 pound screen required the assistance of 31 riggers. But even though the new screen is now in place, it's still not quite ready to entertain theater patrons again. Once it's stretched taut to remove any and all wrinkles, the screen will be covered in an additional 770 pounds of highly reflective silver paint so the projected images have as much brightness and color saturation as possible.

Check out ZDNet Australia's behind the scenes look at the process, including an interview with IMAX Australia's CEO Mark Bretherton about why the company has no immediate plans to also replace the giant film projector at the theater with a digital model. (Hint: Digital resolutions still can't quite compare to a 70mm film print.)

[ZDNet via Slashdot]

Photos: ZDNet Australia/Chuong Vu & IMAX Theatre Sydney