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|Home: BigScreen Journal - Franklin, TN: Carmike Cinemas Gets into the Big-Screen Concept Game with "The BigD Experience" at Carmike Thoroughbred 20|
Following the trail blazed by pioneer IMAX and early settlers Marcus Theatres, AMC, Cinemark, and others, Carmike Cinemas has jumped into the big-screen concept game with today's launch of "The BigD Experience" at the Carmike Thoroughbred 20 in Franklin, Tennessee.
According to the press release, the re-designed auditorium will have a wall-to-wall screen that measures "78 feet wide and over three stories tall" (which should mean that it is about 30 feet tall). A 7.1 channel surround sound system will support the Digital Cinema projection system that will be capable of 2D and 3D presentations. Stadium seating with plush leather high-back rocking seats round out the new viewing experience.
A private VIP grand opening event is being held tonight at 7:30pm, which is an invitation-only event that will include celebrity guests, community leaders, and the President and CEO of Carmike Cinemas. The first movie to be shown in the "BigD Experience" will be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 tonight at Midnight.
As is the custom with the other big-screen offerings out there, Carmike will be asking for more of your money when you want to see a movie in a "BigD" auditorium. According to their ticketing information, they are adding a $2 surcharge onto the price of adult and child tickets, which isn't as much as some of the others. Whether that upcharge is worth it is going to be a matter of personal experience, at least until the Reader Comments start rolling in.
If you've seen a movie in a "BigD Experience" auditorium, what did you think? Was it worth the hype, much less the ticket upcharge? How does it compare to IMAX in your opinion? Leave your comments below!
Carmike plans more "BigD Experience" locations by the end of 2011, but no locations were specifed in the press release. Their web site does mention that the Carmike Riverstone 15 in Canton, Georgia and Carmike Majestic 12 in Chattanooga, Tennessee are next in line for "The BigD Experience."
Update: A closer look at the Carmike web site shows that the Carmike 15 in Columbus, Georgia was upgraded with "The BigD Experience" in July 2010. While that takes some of the air out of our headline, the rest of the information is still relevant...
Carmike Cinemas owns and/or operates 241 locations in 36 states.
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