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State of the art cinema

Roll ’em.

On second thought, there’s no film to roll — at least not at Regal Cinemas’ 16-screen Aliante Station multiplex.

That’s because the new theater boasts digital projection, even at its giant-screen IMAX theater — Southern Nevada’s first digital IMAX installation.

Today’s grand opening, which follows bargain previews Wednesday and Thursday, features free popcorn and soft drinks with paid admission through Thursday.

And, through Sunday, the first 100 ticket buyers will receive T-shirts for the James Bond adventure "Quantum of Solace," which opens today.

Having all-digital projection at Aliante enables Regal to show digital 3-D releases in any auditorium, along with 2-D and 3-D presentations in its giant-screen IMAX theater.

That’s a plus for Regal officials, who — like their counterparts at other theater companies — charge more for 3-D and IMAX presentations.

"We’re big believers in the premium experience," says Russ Nunley, vice president of marketing and communications for Regal, the largest theater circuit in the United States.

After all, "there are a large number of digital 3-D movies" scheduled for release in 2009, he notes. (Including "Harry Potter," "Night at the Museum" and "Transformers" sequels.)

"Our company is willing to invest" in state-of-the-art technology to lure moviegoers away from high-tech home theater setups, Nunley explains.

In addition, part of the deal at Aliante Station was to bring in digital projection, he points out. "I don’t see us reverting to 35 mm (film). Digital is the wave of the future."

(It’s the wave of the present at three other area multiplexes: Regal’s Fiesta Henderson, Rave Motion Pictures’ Town Square and Galaxy Theatres’ Cannery, which opened in 2006 as Southern Nevada’s first all-digital theater.)

In addition to IMAX installations at Red Rock and Aliante, Regal also plans to retrofit one screen for digital IMAX at its Sunset Station multiplex in Green Valley; Nunley says that screen should debut sometime in December. The circuit also plans to convert Red Rock’s IMAX screen to digital next year.

The new Aliante multiplex covers about 81,000 square feet and includes more than 3,400 seats; the 16 auditoriums range in size from 110 to 375 seats.

Every auditorium features stadium seating, with rows elevated for unobstructed views from high-back rocking chairs equipped with cupholder armrests.

At the theater entrance, three Regal Express ticketing kiosks offer an automated alternative to the traditional box office.

A seven-station snack bar awaits patrons inside the theater, along with a party room for pre- or post-cinema celebrations.

Bright catch-the-wave signs point the way to each auditorium; desert-hued tile and pale green wallpaper echo Aliante Station’s overall decor.

"Every one of our theaters is designed to be in keeping" with its surroundings, Nunley notes. "They are not cookie cutters; they do not all look alike."

Two other multiplexes are scheduled to open in Southern Nevada next year: Galaxy’s latest, inside the new M resort at Las Vegas Boulevard South and St. Rose Parkway; and Village Roadshow’s luxury eight-screen Gold Class Cinemas in Tivoli Village at Queensridge, adjacent to Summerlin.

Contact movie critic Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.

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