Bigger and better: Rangos Giant Cinema opens at Carnegie Science Center |
Art & Museums

Bigger and better: Rangos Giant Cinema opens at Carnegie Science Center

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

You will feel like you are actually part of the movie at The Rangos Giant Cinema.

This state-of-the-art theater located inside the Carnegie Science Center on Pittsburgh’s North Side offers a 70-foot giant screen, two industry-leading Christie laser-illuminated 4K laser digital projectors and a premium Dolby Atmos multichannel surround sound system with 45 speakers. Most shows will be shown in 3D.

Oh, and there are bold-colored cushioned seats so you can relax and watch shows in comfort.

The newly renovated Rangos Theater, which has been closed since July, opens Nov. 17. It will have approximately four shows per day, including some evening times.

“With this technology we can offer everything,” says Chad Hunter director of The Rangos Giant Cinema. “It is truly giant – and officially a certified giant screen by Giant Screen Cinema Association. The viewing experience is unlike anything you have experienced before. You have to come to a show to see what I mean.”

“We had a state-of-the-art system but that system was showing its age,” says Hunter. “With the switch to digital technology they needed to make that transition. We can show anything that’s available digitally. If you see a bird on the screen you can track it. It’s really remarkable.”

The cost of renovating the cinema is $3.7 million. It is part of a $45.9 million project which includes the PPG Science Pavilion, main lobby renovation, café upgrades, rain garden on river trail and several new exhibits within the main building.

There are 271 seats, including handicapped-accessible seating. There is Dolby caption view for the hearing impaired and also opportunities for sensory sensitive screenings.

A large part of the programming at the science center is centered on education and science films so three-quarters of the selections will continue to be education and science based, Hunter says.

Part of the fun will be times when kids can wear their pajamas to watch a movie and have a cup of hot chocolate.

The popcorn bar will offer 25 toppings, including Cajun, cinnamon sugar, cocoa powder and soy sauce. Alcoholic beverages will be available for select shows.

The theater will host two early premiere screenings of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Dec. 14, one of which is sold out. Star Wars will have Dolby caption view for the hearing impaired. Tickets are $11.95-$13.95, $9.95 for matinees.

Educational films are $9.95, $7.95 with admission to the science center.

“We are so excited about this blockbuster — the highest grossing franchise out there,” Hunter says.

Hunter says they also plan to have science-based speakers before select shows and film and musical programming as well as guest lectures at special events. The theater can expand its offerings to include film festivals as well as have the ability to live stream concerts and sporting events.

“They options are endless,” Hunter says. “We will truly have something for everyone.”

Catch these shows

“Amazon Adventure” in 3D: An award-winning film about the epic, true story of explorer Henry Bates’ fascinating 11-year journey through the visually stunning and biodiverse Amazon rainforest.

“Tiny Giants” 3D: In an adventure of giant proportions, Tiny Giants reveals the astonishing lives of the smallest of animals. Using the incredibly immersive power of specialist 3D cameras, audiences are transported in a very intimate way into another world to experience the titanic battles these creatures face to survive.

“Animalopolis”: A film for early learners, it will take you on a voyage into the magical world of animals. A bit fanciful, a bit “Seussian” perhaps, a place of good natured humor, beauty and just plain fun for kids and their parents.

“Dream Big”: It will return in January for the remainder of its run. Dream Big will take viewers on a journey of discovery from the world’s tallest building, to a bridge higher than the clouds, to a solar car race across Australia. Along the way, the audience will witness how today’s engineers are shaping the world of tomorrow.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in 3D: Opens Dec. 15

“Frozen Singalong”: Pre-registration required

“The Polar Express”: Opens Dec. 1. What unfolds is an adventure which follows a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. During his ride, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery which shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Primanti's original restaurant in the Strip District is the latest addition to the Miniature Railroad & Village at the Carnegie Science Center.
Primanti Bros.
The exterior of Primanti Bros. original location in the Strip District.
The new Rangos Giant Cinema at the Carnegie Science Center features colorful seating.
The Carnegie Science Center on Pittsburgh's North Shore is closed until Jan. 14, but its Rangos Giant Cinema will remain open at least through Jan. 11 to show 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 3-D.'
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