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This article was published on June 24, 2010

    Drive-ins of the future? IMAX theaters to come in portable bubble form this year

    Drive-ins of the future? IMAX theaters to come in portable bubble form this year
    Chad Catacchio
    Story by

    Chad Catacchio

    Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

    Like movies? Want to watch the latest 3-D blockbuster in IMAX but the closest theater is hours away? Well, soon IMAX theaters will come in portable bubbles that can go anywhere.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, IMAX (which is also the name of the company) plans to have a few of these bubble theaters in both China and the United States later this year, with the first showing in New York City in September.

    The bubbles recreate the IMAX experience – including sound quality apparently – and can fit up to 450 people. While there are a fair number of IMAX theaters in the United States, in China, there are only currently 23, so many of the dozens of cities with over a million people do not have access to IMAX theaters, and this is IMAX’s solution to this at least in the short term (the WSJ says they are planning 50 theaters by 2012).

    Apparently, the bubbles are modeled very closely to portable tennis court bubbles that can be installed for winter play on outdoor courts (see below, though we imagine the IMAX theater bubbles will be higher).

    So keep an eye out for your favorite movies coming to a bubble near you!

    From the inside