MOVIE fan Andrew Bryant held a new era of cinema-going in his hands - when he craned two new giant IMAX digital projectors on to the roof of Sheffield’s Cineworld, writes Graham Walker.
The beasts, which weigh about a ton each and together cost the best part of £1 million, were too big to carry up the stairs to their new home in a projection corridor at the top of the building.
So crane driver Andrew and about a dozen other workmen were called on to get the equipment in through the roof.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch digital editor Graham Walker’s exclusive video report - including footage of the projectors being craned on to the roof and chats with the workmen and staff about the IMAX experience coming to Cineworld Sheffield.
A scaffold platform was erected to take the weight of the projectors and their sound systems before it was unboxed and wheeled into position in a two-hour operation.
But the IMAX technology was in safe hands.
Andrew, aged 50, said: “I’ve been doing this for years. Cinema-goers had nothing to worry about.
“To be honest I’m more used to lifting air conditioning units.
“I’ve never lifted cinema projectors before. These are huge and cost a fortune.”
And while he was delivering the projectors to his colleagues 100ft up, other workmen were busy transforming the cinema’s biggest Full Monty auditorium - which will take the even bigger IMAX screen, all 70ft by 39ft 5in of it.
Screen seven, as it is also known, is currently a building site.
But Karen Godfrey, Sheffield Cineworld general manager, vowed it will be ready in time for the official IMAX grand opening next week.
Bookings are already being taken for to see new sci-fi action adventure John Carter when it makes IMAX history there, on Friday, March 9, at 11.30am.
Other IMAX treats coming this year include Titanic 3D, Wrath of the Titans 3D, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, new Batman film Dark Knight Rises and the next James Bond blockbuster, Skyfall.
Karen said: “We didn’t have much choice in how we got the IMAX projectors and sound system into the building - it was all just too big, so we brought in the crane.
“All this work is going on while we remain open for business and cinema-goers won’t really notice anything going on around them. But we’re now advertising the IMAX experience with huge banners outside the building.
“They won’t believe their eyes or ears when they experience it.
“The screen is so big, with many films also in 3D.
n For information and bookings visit www.cineworld.co.uk