Leading the Laser Charge

Leading the Laser Charge

[ Updated September 1, 2015  |  Originally published August 29, 2015 ]

Rocky Mountain Express has been released for IMAX® with Laser—the groundbreaking laser projection system now being installed in select IMAX theaters.

The award-winning IMAX Experience will be featured in flagship installations of the new IMAX with Laser system in museum environments, including the Pacific Science Center in Seattle WA, IMAX Victoria inside the Royal BC Museum in Victoria BC, as well as TELUS World of Science — Edmonton, in Alberta. The Pacific Science Center will feature Rocky Mountain Express beginning late November 2015 and IMAX Victoria is slated to re-launch the film in 2016. TELUS World of Science—Edmonton will exhibit the laser edition of the film beginning October 14th, 2015.


Rocky Mountain Express

Filmed in the 15 perforation-70mm motion picture format, and first released in 2011, Rocky Mountain Express propels audiences on kinetic and emotive steam train journey through the Canadian Rockies and relates the epic story of the building of the first transcontinental railway. Featuring stunning aerial and locomotive footage, the film offers a unique showcase for the new IMAX with Laser technology.

IMAX with Laser

IMAX with Laser has been described as a re-imagination of the movie-going experience. Designed at the first permanent IMAX theater (Cinesphere at Ontario Place), the new 3D-capable laser-driven system is some 60% brighter in output than existing systems and features a significantly larger colour gamut, as well as the capacity to project at an aspect of 1.43:1, consistent with the tall format used by existing IMAX film capture and projection technology. IMAX with laser features two 4K projectors running simultaneously with sub-pixel alignment in both 2D and 3D to deliver a perceived resolution greater than 4K. Sharper and brighter images, darker blacks and an overall heightened level of realism are hallmarks of the new system. For 3D presentation, re-designed 3D glasses take advantage of the purity of laser light to eliminate residual light ghosting inherent in traditional 3D projection technologies. The sound system for IMAX with Laser includes 6 additional channels with a sub-bass, speakers now in the ceiling, as well as additional side wall speakers. The new system is linked to an IMAX network operations center, enabling around-the-clock monitoring of system components.


The Pacific Science Center in Seattle installed IMAX with Laser in April. IMAX Victoria in Victoria BC will offer IMAX with Laser beginning March, 2016. The Cineplex ScotiaBank Theatre in Toronto was the first theatre to debut IMAX with laser while the TCL Chinese Theatre was the first in the U.S. to debut the technology. IMAX has signed more than 71 laser deals around the world including the most prestigious and iconic commercial theatres, museums and science centers such as the Empire Leicester Square in London; AMC’s Lincoln Square in New York City, Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, and Metreon in San Francisco; Darling Harbour in Sydney; CineStar IMAX Sony Center Berlin at Potsdamer Platz; the Smithsonian’s 3 IMAX theatres and; TELUS World of Science–Edmonton, where Western Canada’s first IMAX Laser will debut in October.


“Laser Locomotive Absolutely Stunning

“The Road to Rocky Mountain Express” [April 24, 2015]

Rocky Mountain Express page

Where to See Rocky Mountain Express

Poster for Rocky Mountain Express, an IMAX Experience.

An Interview with the Director

An Interview with the Director

Filmmaker Stephen Low was interviewed by the pop culture site www.popculture-y.com for the opening of Rocky Mountain Express at the IMAX Melbourne Museum (Melbourne, Australia). “The scenery and the photography in this film is jaw-dropping!” notes interviewer Katherine Back of Pop Culture-Y. “Was trying to capture the Canadian landscape a part of what prompted you to make the documentary?”  Check out the interview here: http://popculture-y.com/2015/04/interview-stephen-low-director-rocky-mountain-express/


Rocky Mountain Express Official Film Site

To see Rocky Mountain Express in Melbourne, Australia:
IMAX Melbourne Museum – March 26th, 2015 to March 26th, 2016
Check with the theater for exact dates and showtimes.

Other locations:
Where to see it (exhibitor locations and dates)

Regent Theatre Canada Day Presentation

Regent Theatre Canada Day Presentation

By Special Arrangement. We’re pleased to announce that Rocky Mountain Express will be presented in celebration of Canada Day 2015 and the MacDonald Bicentenary at the historic Regent Theatre in Picton, Ontario—July 1, 2015. Come celebrate!

For details and showtimes, visit The Regent Theatre.

Rocky Mountain Express relates the story of the building of Canada’s first transcontinental railway, an effort championed by Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald.

theater-logo-the-regentThe historic Regent Theatre is located on Main Street in Picton, Ontario (Prince Edward County). Designed in the style of an Edwardian opera house, The Regent Theatre first opened its doors in 1922. Since 1994, the theater has been operated by The Regent Theatre Foundation, a community based, not-for-profit organization. For more information, see: about The Regent.

Laser Locomotive “Absolutely Stunning”

Laser Locomotive “Absolutely Stunning”

Laser projection has entered the giant screen market with a woosh and a blast of steam. “IMAX with laser” was demonstrated at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA earlier this month using scenes from the Stephen Low film Rocky Mountain Express as well as several recent Hollywood releases.

Developed in collaboration with technology partner Barco, IMAX Corporation’s latest advance combines the power of laser with new patented projection technologies to boost the brightness, contrast, colour gamut and overall clarity of large format digital cinema. It wasn’t any wonder that IMAX Corporation chose Rocky Mountain Express to highlight the true power of the new technology. Captured entirely in 15 perforation/70mm motion picture film and with the support of a helicopter and gyrostabilized Spacecam-mounted IMAX® camera, the Rocky Mountain Express delivers kinetic ride factor and the wide, sweeping vistas of the western landscape with crisp, compelling detail. Scanned from the original negative at an astounding 8K resolution, the film demonstrates the true screen power of IMAX with laser. 

Reports Germain Lussier of slashfilm.com, “During the Furious 7 trailer, the detail and contrast was crisper but not in a way that made your jaw drop. Then, showing a scene from Rocky Mountain Express…the image was absolutely stunning. Think along the lines of the bump from DVD to Blu-ray, with white smoke that looked 3D it was so white, and details in every single tree in the environment.” The consensus among those that have seen the new IMAX technology is that is it here to stay and represents a veritable leap in digital cinema presentation. When matched with superior film capture and cinematography, laser projection really shines.

The IMAX Experience Rocky Mountain Express premiered in 2011 and has since wowed audiences around the world. The film propels audiences on a steam locomotive excursion through the Canadian Rockies and tells a moving story of the epic 19th-century building of one of North America’s first transcontinental railways. Rocky Mountain Express has been hailed by audiences and media as one of the best IMAX films of all time and garnered Best Film and Best Cinematography awards from the Giant Screen Cinema Association (2012).


“Is IMAX Laser Projection the Future of Movies?” by Germain Lussier, www.slashfilm.com

“Laser is Coming”, www.imax.com

Rocky Mountain Express film page

Rocky Mountain Express Spans the Globe

Rocky Mountain Express Spans the Globe

The film that brought the steam age back to life continues to fire the imagination of audiences around the world. Rocky Mountain Express will now soon be transporting giant screen audiences in Paris, Singapore and Melbourne (dates below).

Poster for Rocky Mountain Express, an IMAX Experience.Rocky Mountain Express propels audiences on a train journey through the Canadian Rockies and relates the epic story of the building Canada’s first transcontinental railway. The film premiered at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the fall of 2011 and has been extensively exhibited in IMAX and other giant screen theaters across North America, also reaching audiences in Beijing, The Hague, Lucerne, and Mexico. (See the full list of exhibiting theaters). The film was awarded Best Film and Best Cinematography by the Giant Screen Cinema Assocation (2012) and has received wide critical acclaim from media, theaters and theater-goers alike.

Audience demand for the film has been brisk — our team has been avalanched by tens of thousands of requests for a Blu-ray edition. A home video version of the film is planned, however a final date for release is pending. In the meantime, experiencing the film on the giant screen is still the ultimate way to be transported back to an extraordinary era of steam-powered travel.

 International Locations

Internationally, the film is currently exhibiting in Lucerne, Switzerland and Beijing, China, with the following additional upcoming locations:

Paris, France – La Geode – Opening April 4th, 2015

Singapore – Shaw Theatres – Opening April 24th, 2015

Melbourne, Australia – IMAX Melbourne Museum – March 26th, 2015 to March 26th, 2016

Check your local theater for exact dates and showtimes.

 North American Locations

In North America, the film is on the daily schedule or on regular rotation at theaters in Birmingham AL, Cincinnati OH, Dearborn MI, Gatineau QC, Kansas City MO, Omaha NB, Pensacola FL, Pittsburgh PA, St.Louis MI, Salt Lake City UT, San Jose CA, Seattle WA, Victoria BC.

Most recently the film opened in Erie PA at The Big Green Screen at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (running January 20, 2015 to July 31, 2015).

Check your local theater for exact dates and showtimes.

Rocky Mountain Express



For more on Rocky Mountain Express, visit our film page and the official film site.