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IMAX Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo to close this month

The movie theater at the Apple Valley zoo will shut down on Jan. 27.
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The IMAX theater at the Minnesota Zoo is closing.

The news was confirmed in a letter sent to Minnesota Zoo members, which said the Apple Valley attraction will close its doors on Jan. 27.

At seven stories tall and almost 100-feet wide, the Minnesota Zoo IMAX has the largest movie screen in Minnesota, and would show a mixture of Hollywood movies and nature-based footage in front of a 500-capacity auditorium.

The distinctive building that holds the IMAX dominates the view at the entrance to the zoo, and in the letter to members, the zoo said it "will be communicating the intent of the space once decided."

"The decision was made void of any input from Minnesota Zoo leadership," the letter added. "The Zoo has valued their IMAX partnership and willingness to provide Zoo member benefits."

The Pioneer Press notes that the theater has been independently owned by Minnesota Zoo Theatre Co., a group of private investors who built and opened the theater in 1997 on land leased from the zoo with the intent of handing it over in 35 years' time.

The last event at the theater will be a 7 p.m. showing of "Glass" on Jan. 27.

Just over four years ago, the Star Tribune reported that the IMAX was getting an upgrade, with $1.2 million spent adding rocker seats, a new digital projecting system, and a cloud-based ticketing system.

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