Maya Fresno 16 Cinemas has unveiled a new screen — a screen that is 76 feet wide and 39 feet tall, in time for this weekend’s big blockbuster movie “Jurassic World.”
Frank Haffar, president and chief operating officer of Maya Cinemas, showed off massive theater No. 8 at the company’s new multiplex next to Fresno State on Wednesday, June 10. He says the MPX theater is the largest movie screen in the Central Valley. It officially opens to the public at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, for a showing of “Jurassic World.”
Although he has built more than 100 movie theater complexes, Haffar calls the massive theater his “pride and joy.” That’s because two years of planning went into finding the right sound system, projection equipment, seating and screen to create the theater in the multiplex. The design is called the Maya Premier Experience (MPX).
The theater complex, which opened in May, came months after the original plan to be in operation in November 2014. Haffar says that the $25 million project took longer because of the additional time needed for inspections since the theater is part of a project on Fresno State land. This is the fourth theater complex built by Maya.
The screen of the Maya theater covers 2,964 square feet, about 1/16 the size of a football field. That’s slightly smaller than the IMAX screen that’s part of the Edwards Fresno Stadium 22 complex at Riverpark. The IMAX screen is 70 feet wide and 52 feet tall. It covers 3,640 square feet.
The IMAX and Edwards theaters are owned by Regal Entertainment Group. Rick Herman, the company’s local district manager, could not be reached for comment.
There is no comparison when it comes to the sound power. Edwards sports 12,000 watts of sound while the theater at the Maya complex features 50 speakers that deliver 150,000 watts of sound. The speakers are located behind the screen, along each wall, in the ceiling and in the back. In comparison, 100,000 watts of audio is louder than a jet plane taking off.
If you compare seat numbers, the Maya theater wins again with 355 and includes a small balcony area and a room where parents with crying babies can go to see the film but not disrupt other patrons. The IMAX has 281 seats.
Both the Maya theater and IMAX can show movies in 3D.
“Jurassic World” also will open at the IMAX. Tickets for adults to see it on the large screen at Edwards will be $18.50; at Maya it costs $12.50.
All screenings on the large Maya screen will cost $2.50 more than other theaters in the multiplex.
Maya Cnemas Vice President Lawrence J. Porricelli says the large screen is an attempt to pull people into the magic of movies.