McWane Science Center to Bring IMAX® with Laser to Birmingham in the John W. Woods IMAX® Dome Theatre

IMAX® Logo

McWane to Transform Dome Theater with IMAX’s Next-Generation Dome Laser Technology; IMAX® Theatre to Re-Launch December 18 with Holiday Favorites and spectacular documentaries.  

 Birmingham (12-14-2020)– McWane Science Center announced today that its John W. Woods IMAX Dome Theater is installing IMAX’s next-generation IMAX® with Laser technology designed for 180-degree domed theater environments. The groundbreaking new laser technology replaces the former IMAX film projection system and further enhances the IMAX Experience® for visitors. The theater has been temporarily closed as the interior undergoes a complete renovation including new seating and carpeting. IMAX with Laser is expected to premiere at McWane on December 18 with both documentaries and feature-length Hollywood blockbusters.

Opening weekend showcases holiday classics The Grinch and The Polar Express as well as stunning documentaries Antarctica and Into America’s Wild.

“IMAX is excited to have The McWane Science Center join the growing number of institutions and theaters installing IMAX with Laser technology. This exciting upgrade will provide the clearest, most lifelike images available on screen today as well as next-generation precision audio to the many individuals and families who come from far and wide to enjoy their unique IMAX Dome Theater. We’re thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership and look forward to working together to bring audiences even more theatrical and educational programming options that IMAX with Laser makes possible,” said Therese Andrade, IMAX Senior Vice President, Theater Development, the Americas.

“We are proud to be the first IMAX Dome theater in the Southeast to premiere this remarkable technology. We have partnered with IMAX for many years, and McWane’s conversion to IMAX with Laser marks a new era of science, learning, and entertainment for our region. The IMAX dome is popular with kids and adults alike, and we’ve been fielding ticket inquiries for months,” said McWane Science Center President and Chief Executive Officer Amy Templeton.

IMAX with Laser represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology – providing audiences with the sharpest, brightest, clearest, and most vivid digital images ever combined with a whole new level of immersive audio.

Designed from the ground up exclusively for IMAX, the 4K laser projection system is equipped with a new optical engine and suite of proprietary IMAX technologies capable of filling the full dome screen with maximum resolution and sharpness, unparalleled brightness, industry-leading contrast, and an expanded color gamut that will allow filmmakers to present more vivid and exotic colors than ever before.

The new system also includes IMAX’s state-of-the-art sound technology that delivers the ultimate in power and precision. IMAX’s six laser-aligned loudspeakers distribute equal volume throughout the theater to create an optimum listening environment that ensures every seat is the best in the house. Whether it’s a pin drop or feeling the heart-palpating force of a volcano, audiences will experience complete audio immersion.

In addition to being outfitted with IMAX with Laser, the John W. Woods IMAX Theater has undergone extensive interior renovations. To accommodate this amazing new projection system, the theater is installing new seating, new flooring, and a renovated screen to provide the best learning adventure possible.

Guest health and safety is a priority. Theater attendees ages 3 and older are required to wear masks. Social distancing is being observed, with groups or families seated at least six feet away from other groups. All touchable surfaces in the theater will be disinfected after each showing, and the theater will be deep-cleaned and sanitized nightly.

The theater is built to accommodate an audience of 250, but with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, audiences will be limited in size, with a maximum of 62 guests admitted for each movie. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged.

Tickets may be ordered online at

About McWane Science Center

McWane Science Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) science center, children’s museum, natural history museum, aquarium, and IMAX® Dome Theater featuring IMAX® with Laser projection technology. Designed to “spark wonder and curiosity about our world through hands-on science,” McWane Science Center was named “Alabama Tourism Attraction of the Year” for 2020 and has welcomed millions of visitors since opening its doors in 1998. The McWane Collection houses the largest collection of fossils in Alabama. Visit for more information.


For additional information please contact:

Melanie McCraney