The explosion of IMAX theaters continues this year!
You've always known about IMAX theaters; you've grown up with them. They were always the theaters that made your jaw drop when you entered them---you probably couldn't help but utter the word "wow" the first few times you went into an IMAX. The screen was huge. The seats were cozy. You probably still remember nearly every IMAX movie you experienced as a child. Because getting to see one of the IMAX films was so rare, it was a memory you hung onto for a long time to come!
Fast forward to today: IMAX has learned that everyone loves their theaters...but that their traditional science movies made a whole lot of people yawn! (No...not YOU. You were one of the guests with a gifted mind who could appreciate such scholarly endeavors!) Over the past few years, IMAX has been experimenting with putting Hollywood blockbusters into their theaters. And you know what? The eyes of the IMAX folks began flashing green with dollar signs as their earnings piled up one bill on top of the next. People LOVE going to see newly released films in an IMAX venue, they discovered. "Hey, if we make more theaters, more people can buy tickets!" they began to think. And, so a huge and sweeping plan was formed...and it may well revolutionize the way you watch your favorite new movies from now on (if it hasn't already!)
The IMAX Revolution!
IMAX has an ambitious goal of making sure that nearly everyone living in a major US metropolitan area can visit an IMAX theater, if they wish. How will they accomplish this sweeping epic of a plan?
IMAX is doing this by teaming with AMC, Regal/Edwards and other established theater chains...all companies which already have a web of new stadium-seat theaters built across the USA! These new stadium theaters have quickly become the "gold standard" for watching films...with their comfortable seating, digital sound---and, many times, digital projectors, as well. These theater chains pick out their best-performing stadium theaters (the only kind of auditoriums which have the space for the IMAX project) and adapt them for IMAX use. These new IMAX theaters feature smaller screens than the "Imax Dome" style screens you may remember at various science centers across the country...and yet, they are still oversized & significantly larger than standard theater screens.
To make a long story short, in the past 3 years, over 100 NEW IMAX LOCATIONS have opened within theaters across the United States alone. And more are yet to come! These are all DIGITAL IMAX theaters (both digital sound AND digital projection,) and they all have the capability of showing 21st century-style digital 3D movies.
These days, it is no longer uncommon to see megahit films in the IMAX format. As you may know, the last 3-4 years have seen some huge successes for the newly-released movies that were shown both in "regular" theaters AND also on IMAX screens simultaneously. In 2008, near the start of the new wave of IMAX successes, the financially lucrative run of "Batman: The Dark Knight" turned heads in Hollywood as it shattered box office records---for its IMAX screenings right along with its "regular" theater screenings. The popularity of viewing new films in IMAX theaters continued throughout 2009 & 2010, and caught the attention of producers who still had/have films in the works. The result? (Need you ask?) This year, there is now a GLUT of digital 3D films all vying for space in IMAX theaters!
Most of the upcoming major studio films will be shown on IMAX screens in the foreseeable future (as well as in "regular" movie auditoriums, too, of course) For some movie-goers, there's still a problem in many areas of the country in being able to find an IMAX theater close to home. However, Southern Californians are lucky; most of the former problems in finding an IMAX screen showing favorite new hits has now been alleviated by the rapid pace of updating theaters in our area.
Still, most major metro areas now have a greater level of IMAX availability than ever before. In fact, many areas now have the number of theaters that was EXPECTED to satiate the demand for them. The NEW problem is that the demand for IMAX screens has increased! There is now such a long line-up of 3D films coming out that MULTIPLE IMAX SCREENS are needed in many theaters. Until these new auditoriums can be built, blockbuster hits can stay in IMAX theaters for only a short time. Then, before everyone has a chance to see them in that format, they'll be booted out...to make room for the next movie in line!
As a result, IMAX now has competitors! AMC Theaters (a chain which is still a partner of IMAX & will continue to house IMAX auditoriums) now has its own version of the large-screen format. This is already being used in theaters where IMAX declined to put in its own screens. The new AMC format is being expanded to still more of its own theaters in 2010. Also Cinemark and Regal/Edwards theaters have their own version of Imax-type screens.
One way or another, though, more IMAX theaters and other brands of large-screen entertainment are on their way. You'd better hold tight to your early memories of those rare IMAX theater visits you used to make! Your trips to an IMAX theater won't be so rare that they "stand out" in your memory any more. From now on, IMAX movie-going will be a common experience---and the memories of each visit will all blur together!
Locations of IMAX Theaters in Southern California
Here's a list of currently-operating IMAX locations throughout greater Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, the Inland Empire and the Palm Springs area (in alphabetical order by city)---
3.) Arcadia IMAX Theater: The Santa Anita Mall IMAX address is 400 S Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007. The Arcadia IMAX phone number is 888-262-4386 (recording of show times.) Or, you may call (626) 321-4265 to reach Guest Services. Here's a link to search Santa Anita IMAX movie listings & showtimes online.
4.) Burbank IMAX Theater: There's an IMAX auditorium inside the Burbank AMC 16 Theaters. The Burbank IMAX address is 125 E Palm Ave, Burbank, CA 91502. Here's a Google map to the Burbank Imax and AMC Theaters in Southern California. The Burbank IMAX phone number is 888-262-4386 (to hear a recorded movie schedule.) Or, you may dial (818) 953-2932 to reach Guest Services. Here's a link to look for Burbank IMAX showtimes online.
6.) Cathedral City/Palm Springs area: (Pictured at top of this page.) Desert IMAX Theater, address is 68-510 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City, CA 92234. The Desert IMAX Theater's phone number is 760-324-7333. For movie schedules at the Cathedral City IMAX location only, please view the DesertIMAX.org website. To plan your route to this location, you may wish to use the following Google map to the Desert IMAX theater.
7.) Covina IMAX Theater: phone number 888-262-4386 (recording of movie listing & showtimes.) To talk to a Guest Services employee, you may call 626-974-8628. The Covina IMAX address is 1414 N. Azusa Ave, Covina, CA 91722; it's located at the AMC Covina 30 Theaters. Here's a Google map to the Covina Imax Theater, for your convenience. And, here's a link to look for Covina IMAX showtimes online.
8.) El Cajon: You may enjoy the latest IMAX movies at the Westfield Parkway Mall. The address for the Regal Parkway Plaza 18 Theaters & IMAX is 405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, CA 92020. The Regal Parkway Plaza IMAX phone number is 619-593-0415. Or, you may wish to check the movie listings & show times on Fandango's Regal Parkway Plaza page.
10.) Irvine/Orange County IMAX location: Edwards IMAX Theater at the Irvine Spectrum, address 65 Fortune Drive, Irvine, CA 92618. The Irvine Edwards IMAX phone number is (949) 450-4920. Here's a link to check Irvine Spectrum's IMAX movie times online. Directions: the Irvine Edwards IMAX is located in the Y formed when I-405 splits off from Interstate 5 in Orange County. The Irvine Spectrum may be reached easily from either freeway, and is clearly visible from the freeway. From Interstate 405, take the Irvine Center Dr exit. From I-5, use the Alton Pkwy exit. Here's a Google map to The Spectrum & the Irvine Edwards IMAX Theater to use as a guide. To discover the restaurants and stores you may enjoy while visiting this lovely outdoor mall, please visit the Irvine Spectrum Center page of this website.
11.) Lancaster IMAX Theater: Lancaster' IMAX auditorium is located at the Cinemark 22 Theaters & IMAX; address is 2600 West Avenue I, Lancaster, CA 93536. The Lancaster IMAX phone number is 661-940-7086. If you prefer, you may look up the schedule of IMAX showtimes on the Lancaster Cinemark 22 page of the Cinemark website.
12.) Long Beach IMAX: at the Edwards Long Beach 26 and IMAX Theaters. Address in the Long Beach Town Center is 7501 East Carson Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90808; phone is (562) 429-3321. Here's a link to check Long Beach IMAX movie times online at Fandango.
13.) Los Angeles/Century City: The Century City IMAX address is 10230 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067. The Century City IMAX phone number is 888-262-4386 (for recorded information.) Or, to reach Guest Services, you may call (310) 277-2262. Here's a link to look for Century City IMAX show times online.
14.) Los Angeles/Howard Hughes Center: Rave 18 & IMAX Theaters (which were called the Bridge Cinema de Luxe until recently); address at the Howard Hughes Center Promenade is 6081 Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045. The Bridge IMAX Theater's phone number is (310) 568-3375. To check movie times at the Rave 18 (including showtimes for its IMAX theater,) here's the The Rave IMAX show schedule. Directions: The Rave IMAX can be easily reached from the 405 Freeway. Here's a Google map to The Rave 18 & IMAX Theaters at the Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles, California. Or, to discover the restaurants, stores and other entertainment you may enjoy on your visit, please see the Howard Hughes Center Promenade page of this blog.
15.) Los Angeles/Central LA/Exposition Park: California Science Center Imax, address within Exposition Park is 700 State Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037. The California Science Center's phone number is 213-744-7400. Use the following link to see the California Science Center's IMAX web pages from its official website. Directions: State Drive intersects with Figueroa St, which runs parallel to the I-110 Freeway. Following is a Google map to Exposition Park in Los Angeles, where you'll find the California Science Center and IMAX.
16.) National City IMAX Theater: Phone number 888-262-4386 (recorded movie show times.) To reach Guest Services, you may call phone number (619) 475-2200. Here's a link to look for Plaza Bonita IMAX movie times online. The Plaza Bonita IMAX address is 3050 Plaza Bonita Rd, National City, CA 91950. This IMAX theater is located in the AMC theaters at Plaza Bonita mall. Here's a Google map to the Plaza Bonita IMAX location.
17.) Ontario/Inland Empire/San Bernardino County: Ontario Edwards IMAX Theater, address at the Ontario Mills Mall is 4900 E. 4th St, Ontario, CA 91764. The Edwards Ontario IMAX Theater's phone number is (909) 476-1525. Or, you may prefer to check Edwards Ontario IMAX show times online. Directions: The giant Ontario Mills Mall sits in the northwest corner of the I-15/I-10 intersection and can be reached from either freeway. From Interstate 15, take the 4th St exit. From Interstate 10, use the Milliken Ave exit. You may access the following Google map to the Ontario, California IMAX theater if you would like a visual guide.
18.) Orange IMAX Theater: A new IMAX location is now open at the AMC Theater in The Block at Orange! The Block at Orange IMAX phone number is 1-888-AMC-4FUN, or for Guest Services you may call (714) 769-4288. An even quicker way to find out show listings and schedules is on the The Block AMC/IMAX page of the AMC website. The Block at Orange IMAX address is 20 City Blvd West Orange, CA 92868. Here's a Google map to the Block at Orange outdoor mall where you'll find the theater on the west side of the complex.
19.) Riverside IMAX Theater: phone number 888-262-4386. (Or, call (951) 359-4377 to reach Customer Service.) The Riverside IMAX is located in the AMC Theaters at the Galleria at Tyler mall. The Tyler Mall IMAX address is 3775 Tyler St, Riverside, CA 92503. Here's a Google map to the Tyler Mall's IMAX location. Here's a link to look for Riverside IMAX movie showtimes online.
20.) Roland Heights/Puente Hills/City of Industry IMAX: located in the AMC Puente Hills and IMAX theaters. Address at the Puente Hills Mall is 1560 S Azusa Ave, Rowland Heights, CA 91748; phone, 1-888-262-4386 (recording of movie listings & show times.) Or, you may call (626) 810-7949 to reach Guest Services. Here's a link to look for Puente Hills IMAX show times online.
21.) San Diego: Edwards Mira Mesa IMAX Theater, address, 10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, CA 92126. San Diego's Mira Mesa Imax phone number is (858) 635-7716. Or, to reach a recording, you may call 1-800-FANDANGO. Here's a link to check the Mira Mesa IMAX movie showtimes online at Fandango. Directions: This IMAX theater is conveniently located directly to the west side of Interstate 15. From I-15, take the Mira Mesa Blvd exit and head west 1 block to Westview Pkwy. Here's a Google map to the San Diego Edwards Imax Theater.
22.) San Diego/Balboa Park: There's an IMAX Dome Theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. The Fleet Science Center's address is 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. The Fleet Science Center's phone number is (619) 238-1233. Web pages: IMAX movie listings and showtimes for the Reuben H Fleet Science Center may found in the IMAX Theater section of the museum's official website. Directions: From Interstate 15, follow the signs to Balboa Park. Here is a Google map to the Fleet Center IMAX in Balboa Park to use as a guide. To discover other interesting museums you may enjoy while visiting San Diego's Balboa Park, please visit the Balboa Park page of this website.
23.) San Diego/Mission Valley: You may enjoy the latest IMAX hits at the AMC Mission Valley Theaters & IMAX; address is 1640 Del Rio North, San Diego, CA 92108. For showtimes, you may dial the AMC chain's recorded movie hot line at 1-888-AMC-4FUN...or you may view them on the Mission Valley page of the AMC website.
24.) San Diego/Palm Promenade: An IMAX auditorium has opened at the busy Palm Promenade shopping center, conveniently located to the east side of the I-805 Freeway. The Palm Promenade IMAX phone number is 888-262-4386. Or, you may call (619) 662-2698 if you'd like to reach Guest Services. Here's a link to check the Palm Promenade IMAX movie schedule online. The Palm Promenade IMAX address is 770 Dennery Road, San Diego, CA 92154. Here is a Google map to the Palm Promenade IMAX theater in San Diego, California.
* San Diego/Plaza Bonita: See listing for "National City."
25.) Simi Valley IMAX Theater: Phone number (805) 526-0232. Simi Valley in Ventura County has an IMAX theater location at the Regal Civic Center Theaters, only a few freeway exits away from the Simi Valley Town Center Mall. The Regal Civic Center IMAX address is 2751 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley, CA 93065. Finding this address is easy; from the 118 freeway, take the Tapo Canyon Rd exit and head north 1 block. Here's a Google map to the Simi Valley IMAX Theater at the Regal Civic Center cinemas. Here's a link to check the Simi Valley IMAX movie listing & times online at Fandango.
26.) South Gate: South Gate now has an IMAX theater in its popular Edwards Stadium 20 Cinema. The South Gate IMAX phone number is 562-927-4432. The South Gate IMAX address is 8630 Garfield Ave, South Gate, CA 90280. Here's a map to the Google map to the South Gate IMAX theater, which is conveniently located near the I-710 Freeway at the Firestone Blvd exit. Here's a link to check the South Gate IMAX movie show times online at Fandango.
28.) Torrance IMAX Theater: phone number 888-AMC-4FUN (recorded movie listings and show times.) To reach Guest Services, you may call (310)921-2046. Here's a link to check the Del Amo IMAX show times online. The Del Amo Mall's IMAX address is 3525 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90503. Set in the attractive open-air segment of the mall, the theater is close to good restaurants and interesting stores. Here's a Google map to the Del Amo Mall, for your convenience.
29.) Universal City/Hollywood: AMC Loews CityWalk IMAX Theater, address 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608. The Universal City Walk IMAX phone number is 818-508-0588 (guest services.) Or, to reach a recorded spiel about showtimes, you may call 1-888-AMC-4FUN. Or, here's a link to check the City Walk IMAX movie times online. Directions: from the 101 Freeway, take the Universal Studios Blvd exit and follow the signs to Universal Studios and the CityWalk. Following is a Google map to the Universal CityWalk IMAX Theater. To discover restaurants and stores you may enjoy after taking in your IMAX movie, please visit the Universal Studios CityWalk section of this website.
30.) Valencia/Santa Clarita IMAX Theater: The Edwards Theater at the lovely Valencia Town Center Mall now has an IMAX auditorium which shows the latest megahit movies. The Valencia IMAX address is 24435 Town Center Drive, Valencia, CA 91355. The theater's phone number is 661-260-2960. Or, if you prefer, you may find today's movie listings & schedules on the Edwards Valencia Town Center page of the Edwards/Regal website.
31.) Woodland Hills IMAX: address at the Westfield Promenade Mall is 21801 Oxnard St, Woodland Hills, CA 91367; phone number is 1-888-AMC-4FUN (recorded movie times.) Or, you may call (818) 883-0706 to reach Guest Services. Here's a link to check the Promenade's IMAX movie times online.
IMAX Theater Contact Information
Here are some useful links for finding out the IMAX Theater information you'd like to know.
IMAX Website: IMAX doesn't have its own theaters, but operates via partnerships with a variety of other companies. As you've noticed on this page, in just Southern California alone, IMAX partners with science museums, the AMC Theaters, the North American Cinemas and the Edwards Cinemas (now part of the Regal Entertainment group.) Nevertheless, Imax DOES maintain a central website on which you can find out about the different films they offer. You may use the following link to view the www.IMAX.com website.
EDWARDS IMAX SHOWTIMES: The most efficient way of finding out IMAX films being shown at a particular theater is to head to that theater's website for information. Links to the AMC, North American Cinemas and science museum IMAX theaters have already been included in the SoCal IMAX theater listings above. But, since several Edwards Theaters also have IMAX theaters, the link to the Edwards/Regal website was saved for the bottom of the page. Here's the link to the Edwards/Regal Theaters website where you can find out the IMAX shows & movie schedules for any of the Edwards IMAX theaters.