Did you know that one of the largest cinema screens in Texas is in Galveston? At 60 by 80 feet, the screen in Moody Gardens' 3D Theater is massive, and they're quite proud of it. Billed as the first 3-D theater in North America, the giant screen has been entertaining folks for more than two decades now, showing mostly what you would expect: nature films.
But the theater, now housing the world’s first 4K 3D Giant Screen 6 Primary Laser Projection System, can do more than show off the majesty of our national parks and the lives of sharks. To really show off what the system can do, MG has been showing the one film guaranteed to get almost everyone's attention: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
There have been a ton of options for where you could see The Force Awakens before now, depending on what type of movie fan you are. Whether you wanted the height of comfort, the wackiness that comes with an Alamo Drafthouse pre-show or you just wanted to go to a regular movie theater, everyone wanted in on the Star Wars action. A new, mostly-good Star Wars movie was an event, and if you happen to be in Galveston between now and March 27, it's worth popping in to see Moody Gardens' presentation.
While the science behind the projection system escapes me – all I know about lasers is that they're neat – what I can say is that The Force Awakens looked amazing, crystal clear and bright as all get-out. The 3-D was as flawless as you can get for a movie not shot in true 3-D. The sound was about the same as you'd get in your regular giant-screen experience; nothing special, but it gets the job done.
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Nothing against nature documentaries, but it's almost a shame Moody Gardens won't be screening Batman v Superman here the night it releases; the marketing on the film tells me it definitely could use some help from a brighter screen.
While the screen impresses, the Moody Gardens 3D Theater is still kind of a weird place to see a Hollywood movie. As soon as you walk in, your brain registers that you're not walking into a regular theater. The rows of seats are longer, the space between your feet and the seats in front of you shorter. It's almost like going to see a movie in a football stadium in terms of what happens when someone gets up mid-movie to go to the restroom. We all knew what we were there to see, but had a documentary on Texas history started instead of the story of a galaxy far, far away, I wouldn't have felt surprised.
Also, there were no trailers. I mention that because I know I'm not the only one who cares about that information.
Still, if you're out on the island and you're not there to party like a rock star by the beach, seeing The Force Awakens is a pretty good way to cap off your day. Just make sure you go to the restroom before going into the theater. You don't want to step on anyone's toes once the film starts.