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SunRay Cinema eyeing to take over IMAX theater at World Golf Hall of Fame before closure

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — SunRay Cinema is requesting its patrons to contact St. Johns County commissioners to help preserve the largest IMAX screen in North Florida before it closes for good in September.

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As the deadline approaches for The World Golf Hall of Fame to leave the World Golf Village in September, a call has been received.

Currently, St. Johns County commissioners do not have a plan in place for the property, which includes the unique IMAX theater boasting an 80-foot-wide and 50-foot-high screen which has been open since 1998.

The IMAX at the World Golf Hall of Fame is the only legitimate IMAX screen built in Northeast Florida before the parameters changed in 2008 to allow digital projectors at common multiplexes. It is also the second-largest screen in the entire state.

The World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX posted on their website that it will be open for normal operating hours through September 1, and will close to the public on September 2 with its future up in the air.

There is hope for the future of the IMAX theater.

The SunRay Cinema, a historic two-screen movie theater located in Five Points, recently posted on social media expressing strong interest in saving the IMAX, requesting its followers to send emails to the commissioners.

“They (St. Johns County Commissioners) are looking for public feedback so if any of you would like to see Sun-Ray take over operations at the former World Golf Village IMAX maybe you could send them a note expressing that?” the post stated. “BTW, if this ever came together we would definitely be reinstalling 70MM projectors.”

A projection of 70MM film is a wide high-resolution film that is nearly 350% higher resolution than film traditional formats, the equivalent of around 18k, compared to only 4k of digital cinemas. The only and largest IMAX to show 70MM films in Florida is the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.

The Facebook post also included several St. Johns County commissioners’ emails.

SunRay Cinema established a website where individuals can send a direct message to St. Johns County commissioners expressing their desire to preserve the IMAX. Click HERE to visit their site and save the cinema.

The movie equipment inside the IMAX is still present and showing movies up until the deadline, but will be left behind by the theater company when the World Golf Hall of Fame leaves later this year.

It is probable that the theater’s equipment will require an upgrade within the next five to eight years if another company takes over its operations.

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William Clayton

William Clayton, Action News Jax

Digital reporter and content creator for Action News Jax

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