IMAX viewers don’t just watch a movie, they become immersed in the exploding sound and overwhelming screen size that the theatre has to offer. With quality movie experiences and a student discount, what do students have to lose?
The Challenger Learning Center that houses three components: The IMAX theatre, the space simulator, and the Downtown Digital Dome Theatre Planetarium, offers discounts to Florida A & M University, Florida state University, and Tallahassee Community College students.
“The standard pricing for adults is $7.00, but the students get tickets for $6.50. All they need is a valid student I.D, said Jessie Eason, marketing and sales manager of IMAX. “You have to add a dollar for any of the Hollywood films like Harry Potter because we have to pay royalties to the film companies.”
The IMAX theatre delivers Hollywood movies specializes in documentary movies.
“We get these kind of movies [documentaries] all the time, like Sharks and Hurricane on the Bayou. Hurricane on the Bayou is a very good show,” Eason said. “The movie was first titled Wetlands and they went to New Orleans to do a documentary on wetlands and while they were there, hurricane Katrina hit. We are getting a new movie in called bugs as well.”
The Hollywood movies that are received are up to the movie companies and what they decide to convert to IMAX format.
“We tend to get them after the general release date because there are only certain amounts of copies made in IMAX format and we’re not the biggest market, so we don’t always get the first run copies because we’re a smaller market,” Eason said.
He also said that it is standard theatre practice to give out discounts to students just like regular movie theatres do.
“We also do student memberships for $25, you get two passes to an IMAX showing, 10 percent discount at the gift shop. You can purchase additional passes for other people at your rate and you get free refills,” Eason said.
The Challenger Learning Center, started by Dr. Norm Thagard, is adopted from the space shuttle Challenger that disintegrated in January of 1986.
“We were started by Dr. Norm Thagard and Captain Winston Scott along with several other people. Dr. Thagard was actually office mates with Dick Scobee who was the commander of the Challenger Shutter and that’s how the Challenger learning center started,” Eason said. “There are over 50 Challenger learning centers across the country. They were created as a living memorial to the astronauts on the challenger space shuttle.”
Eason also adds that the center is actually an outreach program.
“We are the K-12 outreach program of the FAMU-FSU College of engineering.”
Along with the outreach program, FAMU and FSU also own the building.
“We are owned by the college of engineering. The college of engineering is a joint program between FAMU and FSU,” Eason said. Students at FAMU had mixed emotions about the IMAX theatre.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily better,” said Courtney Peterkin, 18, freshman general studies student from Orlando. “It’s different but it is about as good as the movie theatre. I don’t really plan on going there.”
Others felt positive about FAMU having part ownership with IMAX theatre.
Natasha Brown, 19, a sophomore pre -physical therapy student said she liked the prices of the IMAX theatre.
“It’s a nice theatre,” said Brown. “The cheaper prices for student tickets, the more it helps us out.”
The theatre encourages student to come out and support.