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The Blank IMAX Dome Theater’s showing of "The Force Awakens" has local "Star Wars" fans excited because of the unique format the hotly anticipated movie will be screened in — 70 mm film — the same format in which director J.J. Abrams shot some scenes.

“The original movies were shot on film and I wanted to see the new one in a similar way to how I saw the first three as a kid,” said local fan and musician Brandon Darner. “I also really wanted to see it how I think J.J. Abrams intended it to be seen, which was as close to how it was shot as possible.”

MORE: Blank IMAX preps for 'The Force Awakens'

But even when Jedis and Sith aren't fighting lightsaber battles, the Blank IMAX is pretty cool. Here are 10 facts about the Science Center of Iowa's theater:

IMAX film and sound are two distinct pieces 

When new movies are delivered to Blank IMAX, the film and its soundtrack are separate. After splicing — an intricate process of cutting and taping many small reels of film into one giant reel — Science Center of Iowa Chief IMAX Projectionist Justin Rule uses special software to carefully sync the film's frames to the soundtrack.

When Rule, 32, worked at a traditional movie theater, which ran 35 mm film vertically through a projector, the sound was incorporated onto the reel of the film, making it much easier to put together, he said.

Like IKEA furniture, IMAX film has to be put together

Feature-length Hollywood movies can be delivered in as many as 60 small reels of film. After delivery, it's up to Rule to splice the small reels together into one giant reel. For "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," 40 reels were delivered and the splicing process took 10 hours.

The documentary films normally on the Science Center's docket usually run about 45 minutes and are delivered in 10 to 16 small reels. Splicing those together takes Reel about three or four hours.

One reel of IMAX film can be miles long

A 45-minute documentary's spliced-together film can be three miles long, while a feature-length movie's can be longer than 10 miles. "Avatar" was 2 hours and 42 minutes long, making the reel more than 52,000 feet long.

Forklifts are necessary

Rule uses a forklift to pick up the reels and place them on the spinning platters that feed film into the projector. The Blank IMAX's projector rests underneath the theater's seating until the screening starts when it raises about 20 feet above the ground and is locked into position among audience members.

This film isn't cheap

An IMAX documentary costs about $12,000 to print. A feature film can cost three times that. A 35 mm film print at a traditional theater costs about $1,000.

The film is also pretty sensitive

IMAX Projectors are heavier (each weighs about two tons) and bigger (taking up much of a whole room) than their average movie theater counterparts. If anything happens to the film during the screening, the only way to correct it is to stop the film, unthread it and repeat the whole process of splicing and loading the film onto the platter.

This is not your ordinary light bulb

Blank IMAX theater uses a 15,000-watt bulb that is water-cooled, costs about $6,000 and lasts about 1,000 hours. A bulb for a traditional theater is between 2,000 and 4,000-watts. To change the bulb, Rule has to suit up in a welding outfit. The bulbs are made out of quartz, not glass, and if one was dropped or exploded on its own, quartz — which can heat to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit — would fly all over the room.

Rule said IMAX bulbs are supposedly so bright that if you shined it upwards on its own, "you'd be able to see it from the moon."

MORE: What you need to know about seeing 'Star Wars' in the metro

And this bulb has demands

In a separate room, a water cooler and pump keeps the ultra-bright bulb cool. An air compressor pumps air against the lens and a large rectifier converts AC power to DC power to run the bulb. IMAX specialists take the equipment apart and do a thorough checkup about every quarter, but Rule is in charge of keeping the projector running year-round.

The projection room is balmy 

The temperature is kept between 68 and 75 degrees and the humidity at about 50 percent in the projection room. If it's too humid -— or not humid enough — the film will shrink or swell and won't run correctly through the projector.

Blank's an intimate theater

With just 216 seats stacked at a 35-degree angle, the Blank IMAX's six-story dome is one of the smaller theaters in town. But what it lacks in size, it makes up in for in soundproofing: three feet of layered insulation keep the sounds of the nearby train track at bay.

— Information culled from a Juice article by Jessica Knight and the Science Center of Iowa's website

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