Local Omni Theater to Receive Upgrade


Omni Digital Dome | Image by NBC DFW

The Omni Theater IMAX, an iconic destination at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, is getting a massive upgrade.

The IMAX’s 180-degree dome ceiling is slated to receive a $20 million overhaul after almost 40 years of sitting unchanged.

Following its closure in March 2020 due to the lockdowns seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum plans to revitalize the Omni Theater by creating an all-new immersive experience for visitors.

“So the footprint will remain the same, but we’re going to take everything from the inside out if you will, and it will go to an all-new digital 8K LED dome. 8K.

“Which is at the limit of what your eye can see from distance,” said Tammy McKinney, vice president of development and marketing at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

“So when you think about your 4K TV in your home this will be 8K, so the clarity and the brightness will do something that you almost just cannot imagine,” she added.

Although future visitors will watch projections on the new digital dome, the existing IMAX projector system and its 70 mm IMAX film reels will remain in place as an exhibit.

In addition to carrying importance for locals who may recall visiting the theater on a field trip as a child, it has historical significance as the very first of its kind built in the Southwest.

According to Orlando Carvalho, interim president of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the upgrades will be equally pioneering since they will turn the theater into the largest immersive experience in the country, if not the world.

“[The experience] that people will have when they come here to see a documentary and to see the films that we will show here, and the videos, will be tremendous,” Carvalho said.

To make the experience as captivating as possible, the museum will be working with the Los Angeles-based tech company Cosm, a specialist in the production of large-scale digital immersive and virtual reality experiences.

“The brilliance, the brightness, the high definition — it’s going to feel like you’re there,” Carvalho said.  “For the first time, the museum will have a venue that is truly interactive.”

The theater will also upgrade its facilities to better accommodate accessibility. Its lobby will be brought up to ADA standards and its expansion will allow for hosting private and corporate events.

Within the theater, there will be 300 new seats that are larger and more comfortable.

Construction is set to begin in the spring and will be an 18-month project.

The museum is still raising funding for the project, with about 80% of the necessary funding already secured.

Carvalho says he is confident that the museum will receive the necessary $4 million required to complete funding and commence construction.

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9 days ago

We have wanted to take our grandkids to the Omni for the past two years when they visit from Germany but continually read its being remodeled. Now I realize the process hasn’t even started and it appears it will be down almost five years total. So, why didn’t they leave it open until the construction was to start?