The Edge adds another dimension

Published 4:40 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Visitors to The Edge will notice an added dimension to the traditional movie-going experience.

It’s out with the old and in with the new, as old-school 35-millimeter projectors have given way to new high-end Sony 4K digital projectors that dwarf any other devices on the market.

The term 4K refers to the projectors’ ultra-high definition displays, which are twice the resolution of the standard digital projector. In fact, the technology behind these projectors is so advanced that there aren’t even films on the market that utilize this ultra-high definition display yet.

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Michael Nimmer, general operations manager at The Edge, said that the decision to shift toward high-end projectors was a means of future-proofing his theater.

“We’re so much further advanced right now than even what Hollywood is putting out,” Nimmer said. “When they go to 4K movies, we’re ready.  We don’t have to worry about upgrading equipment — we’re already there.”

However, the costs for staying relevant were high.  After everything was said and done, the renovations cost more than $800,000 — a little more than $100,000 per auditorium.

Another change that viewers are likely to notice in the not-too-distant future is the new projectors’ capacity for screening films well beyond the standard frame rate of 24 frames per second.

“The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey” released in a handful of theaters nationwide last December with the option to experience the film at 48 frames per second.  The Edge will now count itself among that minority as one of the few theaters that will support its sequel, “The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug” — as well as future films such as “Avatar 2” — in this format.

Despite the relative popularity of 3D films, roughly 30 percent of viewers suffer from either eye strain or headaches from prolonged exposure.

To combat these common complaints, The Edge chose to employ RealD Cinema, the most widely used technology for watching 3D films in theaters.  One of the standout attributes of the technology is viewing comfort.

Furthermore, audience members who would rather forgo the 3D experience altogether won’t be left out in the cold.

“What we will eventually do is offer all 3D movies in both 2D and 3D showings,” Nimmer said. “For the people who don’t like them in 3D, we’ll make accommodations to make sure that they’ll have the opportunity to watch them in 2D.”

And with the summer rush of movie titles fast approaching, there will be plenty to choose from.

The Edge will show “Iron Man 3,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Man of Steel,” “Monsters University” and many more in 3D.

Nimmer added that 2013’s stellar lineup of 3D films was another reason for finally making the transition.

“There are 52 movies released this year in 3D versus years before when we would’ve had 18-20 at the most,” Nimmer said. “2013 is the year of the 3D movie.”