Wilmington IMAX theater opens ahead of schedule

Just in time for the holidays and big screen hits, a 15-screen IMAX theater opened its doors to moviegoers on the Wilmington Riverfront, but only for a test run Thursday afternoon.

However, right before the screenings at Penn Cinema Riverfront, co-owner Penn Ketchem, Wilmington Mayor James Baker, along with officials from city council and the riverfront came together for a ribbon cutting ceremony just before the theater equipment was tested.

All proceeds from the test run, where tickets sold for $5, will benefit two Delaware nonprofits — the Delaware Children’s Museum and the Delaware Chapter of the National MS Society.

“We see this partnership with the Delaware Children’s Museum and the Delaware MS Society as a way to really become a part of the Delaware community and help the greater good,” said Ketchum, Managing Partner of Penn Cinema.

Some of the movies at the test run included films that are already on DVD like, “TED,” “Think like a man, act like a woman,” “Safe House,” “Avengers” and “The Bourne Legacy.”

“We’re excited about this fabulous new theater opening in Wilmington – and of course thrilled to be a part of it,” said Kate Cowperthwait, president of Delaware’s MS society. “Our new partnership will enable us to reach new audiences and raise funds during the holiday season when so many families affected by MS are struggling the most.”

“We’re delighted to have Penn Cinema be our new neighbor on the Riverfront,” said Julie W. Van Blarcom, executive director and CEO of the Delaware Children’s Museum. “We’re grateful to be included as the beneficiary of this test run, and we look forward to working with Penn Cinema for many years to come.”

Penn Cinema Riverfront officially opens its doors at 10 p.m. for midnight showings of “The Hobbit” in its IMAX theater.

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