Beginning in February of 2011 Cinesphere underwent a major renovation, the first since it was built in 1971. The renovation included the installation of a new IMAX® 3D projector, digital audio sound system, cinematic screen and stadium-style seating. These enhancements make Ontario Place’s iconic Cinesphere one of the best film experiences in North America.
Not only considered one of the best, but now one of the largest IMAX® 3D theatres, Cinesphere has 615 quality comfort seats (that’s more than any other IMAX® theatre in the city) as well as a new cinematic screen eight storeys wide and six storeys high.
A popular stop for school groups, audiences of all ages can enjoy Cinesphere’s line-up of amazing educational short films. Establishing itself as a night-time movie hotspot, Cinesphere presents, for the first time, regularly scheduled full-length Hollywood feature films all in IMAX® 3D. See the calendar for films and show times.
Other major changes to Cinesphere include new floors, walls, lighting and a redesigned concessions area to make it as a year-round venue and presentation centre for meetings, trade shows and other events.
Cinesphere’s exterior also received a makeover: the installation of 300 energy-saving LED light bulbs around the dome façade.
Cinesphere Film Technology
Cinesphere houses the latest and best in film technology: 15/70 stock, the best format available for giant screen theatres. This type of film projection delivers a sharper image than digital and is nine times larger than standard 35mm film used in most local theatres. The 30,000 watt digital sound system combined with the new film technology and screen provides viewers with a much crisper and clearer image and sound. All these elements contribute to the enhanced movie experience.
Wondering how 3D works?
Two prints of the same film are run through the projector at the same time. Each is separately projected through a polarized filter creating a left and right image which is then matched to the audience’s 3D glasses giving the impression that the image is coming right at you!
Cinesphere was opened in 1971 as one of the world's most advanced theatres. It was built to "create a space capable of housing the existing and the future scope of film", Cinesphere stands as the first permanent IMAX® film theatre in the world.
Housed in a geodesic structure, Cinesphere was designed to accommodate all conventional film formats and also many of the experimental films produced for Expo '67 in Montreal and Expo '70 in Osaka. Several of these films could previously be shown only in theatres designed specially for each film.
Expo '67 and Expo '70 introduced large screen and multiple-image films to a vast audience. Multiple images heightened the impact of the film, emphasizing and amplifying the story, with the large screen giving the feeling of actually being "in" the picture. By involving the audience more deeply in the story, the large screen introduced new dimensions for both film maker and audience.
Cinesphere also introduced other innovations, including:
- Single large screen: 80 feet wide by 60 feet high
- Armchair seating for an audience of 752 people
- the outer seats of many rows have the capability of swiveling so that each member of the audience has an equally good perspective
- The steep rake is designed to ensure an unobstructed view of the screen
Digital sound reproduction capabilities were added in 1991 for the Toronto premiere of the IMAX® film "At The Max" - a 90 minute Rolling Stones concert experience. Currently Cinesphere can present films with digital sound tracks in the IMAX®, DTS and Dolby SR-D formats.