Moody Gardens' 3D Theater Is Insanity — and Perfect for Star Wars Junkies

Moody Gardens' 3D Theater Is Insanity — and Perfect for Star Wars Junkies

You’ve been to Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens once or twice or umpteenth times and you think you’ve really seen it.

No. You haven’t.

For two weeks in March at Galveston’s Moody Gardens, the center’s recently enhanced, one-of-a-kind 3-D movie house will screen The First Order’s galaxy-ruling attempts on what Moody Gardens is calling the planet’s first high-definition screen of its kind.

The crazy fancy large-format screen, which debuted on November 15 inside the tourist destination’s ten-story glassed pyramid, features the first “4K 3D giant screen 6-primary laser projection system,” a what-in-the-heck-does-that-mean description that Joel Lockett of Moody Gardens helped decode.

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“Our screen is six stories high and 60 feet wide,” says Lockett, Moody Gardens’ theater co-manager, about the cinema that has showed films such as National Parks Adventure and Great White Shark in 3-D. “The screen is four times brighter than a normal theater, and there’s a vibrant color matrix. Instead of three color patterns in red, green, blue, there are two patterns for each red, green and blue color.”

This is serious. It gets more serious.

There’s also 11.1 surround sound – Lockett says the center recently installed 49 speakers on the ceiling and walls – that’s just the right mix of potent and palatable. For example, when a plane flies overhead in a movie, it will sound like a plane is actually flying above, sans the jet-engine-loud sonic obscenity.

The 3-D glasses technology is also top-notch, says Lockett. “The glasses at other large-screen theaters are only able to get 30 percent of the brightness. Our glasses achieve 90 percent brightness.”

Of course, all this cinema porn begs the question: Why did Moody Gardens invest in this behemoth?

“Specialty theaters can’t do as many viewings as a Cinemark,” says Lockett. “We needed to stand out from the bigger theaters, so we reached out to every projector manufacturer to find the best technology.” A company called Christie Digital Systems, which produces 6P laser projectors that generate photoptically optimized light wavelengths for each eye, emerged as the winner.

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens is scheduled to screen at 8 p.m. nightly from March 12 to March 19 and 5:10 p.m. nightly from March 20 through March 27 at Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Boulevard on Galveston Island. For more information, check out

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