IMAX announced the donation of an IMAX theater system to the University of Southern California‘s (USC) School of Cinematic Arts. The theater, which is the first teaching lab of its kind in a collegiate setting, will be installed in a new auditorium donated by Michelle and Kevin Douglas, IMAX’s largest shareholders, at the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts – a 35,000-square-foot, fully digital training center. The Michelle and Kevin Douglas IMAX Theatre and Immersive Media Lab will serve as a research facility and teaching facility for students to learn IMAX filmmaking as well as other immersive entertainment experiences including location-based entertainment and multi-player game design.
“IMAX has been a cinematic innovator since its inception more than 45 years ago,” said IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond. “We take our commitment to the future of entertainment very seriously and believe that through this gift we can help educate future filmmakers of the world on how to use technology to express their vision in new ways. The Lab will also give students the opportunity to learn about the latest innovations filmmaking, set design, sound and postproduction. We are honored to be a part of Zemeckis Center, a world-class, state-of-the-art learning facility and it is our hope that the USC IMAX Lab will help expand every student’s creative potential.”
“Our partnership with IMAX and Michelle and Kevin Douglas is an incredible leap forward in offering students the most cutting-edge storytelling technologies,” said alum Robert Zemeckis. “The students’ exploration of IMAX filmmaking and immersive storytelling will push the boundaries of the medium, creating experiences we cannot even imagine yet.”
The Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts is the brainchild of filmmaker and USC alumnus Zemeckis. The center is the result of a collaboration of studios, agencies, corporations and individual leaders throughout the entertainment community. The addition of The Michelle and Kevin Douglas IMAX Theatre continues this legacy of collaboration and supports Zemeckis Center’s mission to educate and inspire the next generation of filmmakers and digital artists.
“Our partnership with IMAX and Michelle and Kevin Douglas is critical to the School’s efforts in advancing the field of IMAX filmmaking,” said Elizabeth Daley, the dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. “This gift is not only transformative for the research efforts of the school but, most importantly, puts the cutting-edge immersive storytelling and virtual production tools in our students’ hands.”