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Harkness Screens Dives into Another Dimension at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Spectralâ„¢ 240 3D Screen Installed at Regions First of its Kind New Immersion Large-Format 3D/4D Digital Theatre

DUBUQUE, IA, MAY 10, 2011 — When Edwards Technologies, Inc. (ETI), the leader in 3D digital theatre installations at entertainment venues worldwide, was given the task of equipping the new 3D/4D theatre of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s much anticipated $40 million expansion, they turned to Harkness Screens, the world’s leading manufacturer of projection screens and its Spectralâ„¢ 240 3D presentation surface.

With a 38 feet wide by 21½ feet tall, curved Harkness spectral 240 3D screen, the new immersion large-format 3D/4D digital theatre, the first of its kind in the region features 134 stadium style seats, 3D images that jump off the screen and 4D special effects such as dramatic scent, wind, water mist and seat movement to enhance the viewer experience.

“Harkness’ combination of performance, price and customer service made them the obvious choice for this project,â€? says Mitch Hartmann Technical Director at ETI. “We have used Harkness Screens for many years and their 3D presentation surfaces consistently provide superior images.â€?

The Harkness Spectral 240 3D screen is considered by cinema exhibitors and special venue operators worldwide to be the optimum 3D projection surface for systems using polarised light. The Spectral 240 features a high extinction ratio and provides spectacular 3D images. The surface also supports 2D images and can be used successfully in auditoriums where 2D and 3D are both shown. The intrinsically high gain (2.4) overcomes light losses in 3D systems.

“We like using Harkness’ wrap around approach because they are able to create a screen that makes the image appear to float in space showing no discernable frame around it. The frame is completely concealed,â€? adds Hartmann. “The films look amazing and we have received nothing but positive feedback from the client. Harkness does a great job listening to our needs and delivering a fantastic customized product.â€?

The theater presents two 4D films in rotation, The World of Sharks, an up close look at a variety of shark species from the Red Sea to the Pacific Ocean, and Turtle Vision, a fun and colorful 4D animated story of the adventures of Sammy the sea turtle. The two features are shown in rotation with a new film screening every 45 minutes, giving guests as many opportunities as possible to catch a screening of either or both films.
In addition, the Spectral 240 will also be used for large format equivalent of 2D films in high-definition from Blu-ray, enabling the museum to host screenings of other films on a seasonal basis.
“Our visitors are amazed at the quality of the 3D images coming off our screen,� says John Sutter, Director of Marketing, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is located along the banks of the Mississippi River in the Port of Dubuque, Iowa, where it serves as the lead interpretive center for America’s rivers. The Museum & Aquarium highlights both the cultural and environmental aspects of rivers, with a mission to preserve our national river history as well as the rivers themselves. The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium has received national recognition for its exhibits and programming. It is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate and is accredited by both the American Association of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

About Harkness Screens
Harkness Screens is the world’s leading manufacturer of large screens. Thousands of screens are supplied every year for cinema, film production, special effects, live events and custom AV applications. Founded in 1929, Harkness has recently celebrated its 80th year in business and has screens in place in over 60 countries. With its corporate office located in Ireland, other offices and factories are located in UK, France, Beijing and Fredericksburg, VA. Harkness Screens combines unrivalled experience with the latest technology to provide innovative solutions to the company’s key markets worldwide. For more information, visit the Harkness Screens web page at