‘BigD’ is back at Carmike 15, with Auro sound and ‘Spider-Man 2’

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comMay 2, 2014 

Carmike Cinemas announced they will be renovating the current Big D theater at Carmike 15 and converting it to an IMAX theater. 12/04/13

MIKE HASKEY — mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

The “BigD” experience is back at Carmike 15 in Columbus.

Roughly five months after losing its big-screen auditorium to new IMAX technology, the movie-theater complex on Whittlesey Boulevard, at Columbus Park Crossing, has reopened “BigD” in another auditorium.

Columbus-based Carmike Cinemas said the premium “BigD,” with its wall-to-wall screen, cushy rocking chairs, digital video and new Auro 11.1 by Barco sound, opened Friday.

The auditorium’s first movie is Marvel’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which made its debut Friday and is being shown in 3-D at the Carmike 15 “BigD.”

It was just after Thanksgiving last year that Carmike shut down the 586-seat “BigD” auditorium at the Columbus theater to make way for IMAX, with its proprietary software, film cameras and other technology designed to put viewers in the middle of the action or scene, both visually and audibly.

Work on the new “BigD” auditorium, a 380-seat screening room at Carmike 15, began after the holidays, leading to Friday’s return of the enhanced movie-viewing experience. The “BigD” auditorium in Carmike Cinemas’ theaters typically show major movies, such as the upcoming summer blockbusters, on opening weekends.

“We continue to ensure a cutting-edge presentation each and every time by offering large-format digital projection on infinitely larger screens through ‘BigD,’ top-of-the-line sound with superior products such as Auro 11.1 by Barco, and the finest in-theater seating available where guests can experience the D-BOX motion technology,” David Passman, Carmike president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The company said D-BOX, a motion technology, has been installed in 38 seats split between two of the Carmike 15 theaters. D-BOX, on the market several years, uses vibration and other types of movement in the seat, timing them with scenes on the screen.

“Patrons of D-BOX are not merely watching a movie, they are virtually placed in the feature through synchronized movements of the seat with the action of the film,” Carmike said of D-BOX.

As for Auro 11.1 by Barco, now in the “BigD” auditorium, it uses a 52-speaker system to project sounds from various points in the theater. “For example, when a plane flies overhead, the sound is heard roaring above the guest,” said Carmike. “Similarly, when a thunderstorm erupts, the intense sound from above places the viewer in the feature.”

Carmike Cinemas operates 253 theaters (2,670 screens) in 37 states, but is in a growth mode, with a goal to reach 300 theaters and 3,000 screens through new theater openings and acquisition of other companies’ theaters.

Carmike is scheduled to release its first-quarter earnings report Monday after the Nasdaq exchange’s 4 p.m. close. Stock shares jumped 76 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $30.46 in trading Friday. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $16.14 to $32.60 per share.

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