IMAX and National Geographic Visitor Center celebrate 30 years of the most watched IMAX movie ever

IMAX Theater projection system. The IMAX is celebrating 30 years of “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” Submitted photo

IMAX Theater projection system. The IMAX is celebrating 30 years of “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” Submitted photo

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Since 1984, the IMAX Theater, located within the National Geographic Visitor Center, has provided visitors with continuous hourly showings of the 34-minute, true-life adventure film "Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets."

The IMAX film is projected on an enormous 60-foot high by 82-foo wide screen, equivalent in height to a six-story building. It is this immensity of screen size, with its vast panoramas, that makes IMAX a different and breathtaking experience.

A unique projection system uses the "rolling loop" process to shift the oversized film past the projector lens at four times the speed of normal 35mm film in a standard cinema. A steep seating theater gives moviegoers an unobstructed view and a unique sensation of being part of the thrills of the film.

"Over the years, your theatre has enlightened, inspired and entertained audiences of all ages," said Sarah Moore, senior coordinator of Theatre Services at IMAX Corporation about the theatre.

"Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets" highlights selected historical events through which the audience is presented breathtaking vistas of the Canyon. The red cliffs of Toroweep depict the descent into the Canyon by its earliest known inhabitants. The spectacular Desert View and Moran Point overlooks were the focal points for the re-creation of the 1540 Coronado Expedition led by the Spanish Conquistadors. A major focus of the film engages viewers as they join Major John Wesley Powell during his historic party's 1869 exploration of the Colorado River - experiencing his challenges in conquering the thunderous rapids of the Colorado River. Visitors discover 4,000 years of history in just 34 minutes.

The Visitor Center is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. March 1 to Oct. 31 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28. More information is available by visiting


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