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Construction for Springfield's first IMAX theater finished on schedule.
Construction for Springfield's first IMAX theater finished on schedule.

Now playing: Springfield IMAX theater

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Springfield's first IMAX theater at 3200 E. Montclair St. has been completed on schedule to open to the public today.

The rebranded Springfield 11 IMAX theater, formerly known as Springfield 8, is kicking off with 3-D showings of "Happy Feet Two" at 11 a.m., 1:40 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:10 p.m. and 9:40 p.m.

The theater's owner, Overland Park, Kan.-based ShowPlex Cinemas, has teamed with local nonprofit Care to Learn during the opening weekend. Through Sunday, a portion of concessions proceeds will be donated to the student health, hunger and hygiene organization, according to a news release.

Riverside-based Luke Draily Construction Co. Inc. served as the general contractor for the $4 million renovation, which added two standard auditoriums, with a total of 240 seats, and the 300-seat IMAX theater. Additional renovations included new concessions and continued conversion to digital projection systems, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

Designing the 14,500-square-foot project was Butler, Rosenbury & Partners Inc., with engineering work performed by ESC Inc., civil; Butler, Rosenbury & Partners, structural; and Olsson Associates Inc., mechanical, electrical and plumbing.

Despite numerous efforts, companies have failed to bring an IMAX theater to town in the past. Plans to add an IMAX theater to the Wonders of Wildlife museum were canceled in 2007. A partnership between Dickinson Theatres and Kansas City-based developer DJ Christie Inc. ceased its plans to open a theater in early 2008.

ShowPlex Cinemas, however, paved the way for the first IMAX in town when it acquired 10 Dickinson Theatres locations in May 2010.
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