The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk has premiered its new 4D Theater, which replaces the IMAX theater that was closed last month as part of the Walk Bridge replacement project.
Gov. Ned Lamont led a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday at the 169-seat venue, which takes the 3D filmgoing experience (complete with funky glasses) and expands into other sensory effects incorporating aromas and movement, including mists, wind and bubbles.
The theater will play two films throughout the day: BBC Earth’s “Shark: A 4D Experience” and “Ice Age: No Time for Nuts 4D.” The new theater was built and will operate in partnership with SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, which runs similar venues at 40 museums, zoos and aquariums across North America.
In addition to the new theater, the aquarium is planning to open a 150,000-gallon seal exhibit in May. Funding for the new additions to the facility came from a $40 million deal between the city of Norwalk and state of Connecticut related to the Walk Bridge project.
“These are milestone changes for this institution,” said Jason Patlis, the Aquarium’s president and CEO. “We now have a state-of-the-art 4D theater that, beyond offering impactful movies several times each hour, is also a multipurpose asset available for lectures, educational presentations, special events and more – something we’ve sorely needed as we try to tell the full story of our connections to Long Island Sound and the ocean beyond.”