My favorite place in Seattle: Pacific Science Center IMAX Theater

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When I was 11, my parents took me to go see “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” But we weren’t just seeing it in any ordinary theater. We were watching it in IMAX.

Of course, 11-year-old me wasn’t old enough to understand the technical details behind the IMAX format –– all I know is that when I saw the shot of Tom Cruise climbing the Burj Khalifa and staring down from the incredible height he’d reached, I felt like I was there with him. The dizziness, the adrenaline, the terror, all induced by one enormous screen.

Since that day, my family and I see every movie we can at the Pacific Science Center (PSC), home to two IMAX theaters. PSC prides itself in working to immerse its patrons in every experience it hosts, from children’s exhibits and documentaries to laser shows and blockbuster films.

IMAX films perhaps best demonstrate this kind of immersion. Feature films are typically shown at the Boeing Theater, which was recently renovated with a new laser-powered digital projector that produces images with visceral clarity. IMAX screens, which measure twice the length of conventional theater screens and extend beyond the viewer’s peripheral vision, are meant to place audiences deep in the action. The image is combined with thundering surround sound coming from the hundreds of speakers lining the theater’s walls, producing what IMAX’s website calls an “endless sweet spot” for sound quality. Every film shown here begins with IMAX’s tagline: “Watch a movie, or be part of one.” PSC delivers on this promise every time.

Reach contributing writers Suhani Dalal, Tejus Krishnan, and Nicole Pasia at development@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @tejusk100

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