We Were Promised an IMAX Theatre!

by Merle Widmer, Peoria County Board Member

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis was recently quoted in the Journal Star: “I think a number of people in the community as well as myself, were under the impression there would be an IMAX theatre in the Peoria Riverfront Museum (PRM).” He went on to say, “If there isn’t, I guess the concern is will the alternate make the County and the PRM feel the project still has the same energy that it would have with an IMAX?”

County Board member Andrew Rand and Chairman of the PRM Construction Committee has said, “I don’t think we’re specifically hung up on IMAX which is a specific brand.” Besides, Andrew says it’s too costly.  C’mon Andrew, the referendum was sold on the basis of there being and IMAX theatre.

Here are several other examples of that:

Journal Star Editorial Board, April 5, 2009, in urging the voters to vote yes wrote, “The museum will have an IMAX theatre.”

Journal Star, the day after the referendum passed with a “mandate” of 400 votes out of 30,000 votes cast, The PRM will have (among other things) a giant IMAX theatre.”

Peoria County Courier, Feb. 27. 2009, showed a picture of the PRM with a building clearly labeled “IMAX’. Who sent them that picture? The museum committee!!

Journal Star, November 29, 2009, “Some of the proposed features include a giant IMAX theatre.”

Letter from a PRM Board member, Dr. Bruce Hillemeyer, (11/17/2009), “Solid projections of over 360,000 visitors each year will visit the Cat Experience and IMAX theatre. OUR IMAX will be the only one south of Chicago and in all of Illinois and it will draw thousands…”

Margie White, Secretary African American Hall of Fame Museum in a personal letter to me on 12/13/2007, “The IMAX theatre alone will attract visitors from near and far.”

Letter from Dan and Kim Phillips, Illinois Antique Center on requesting my vote for support for the downtown museum, “This project will be home to (among other things) a digital IMAX theatre.”

Pat Barton, wife of Glen Barton wrote a letter (3/14/09), “There is no elitism in plunging through a dark hole in the planetarium, enjoying a movie in the IMAX.”
Dr. Joanne Glasser, Bradley University President wrote (3/22/09), “The PRM will boast (among other things) a 3D IMAX-like, note she is the only so far to say ‘IMAX-like ‘theatre.’”

Mayor Jim Ardis on the PRM, “There will be tremendous value for such a low cost. For  example a 3-D IMAX theatre.”

H.L. Chappie Chapman, on 4/29 in a letter to the Journal Star Editorial Board, “The Build a Block will be a major destination for families in our region and visitors to Illinois. It will include (among other things) an IMAX theatre.”
Pam Adams of the Journal Star, wrote “A museum on hand to razzle-dazzle attached to a Caterpillar experience and an IMAX theatre.”

Barbara Mantz Drake wrote a letter (3/22/09), saying “There will be an IMAX type theatre………”

And then Sheldon Shafer, Lakeview employee and political candidate wrote “How could we sign a contract with IMAX when the building hasn’t been built yet?”

Michael Bryant who runs Methodist wrote in the InterBusiness (5/2009), “The IMAX theatre will allow first-run movies, drawing more people downtown.”

Jim Richerson, in the InterBusiness (June 2009) in a column written by Ray Lees, PSA Dewberry, Richerson is quoted, ‘The Peoria Riverfront Museum will appeal to all people of all ages and will include a digital 3-D IMAX theatre.’

Folks, looks like you were lied to by an awful lot of our best and brightest.

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