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Luxury Waukee Movie Theatre Installs Thousands of Solar Panels

WAUKEE, Iowa  --  Construction on Waukee’s first movie theater, called Palms Theatres, is coming along quickly, they are expected to have a partial opening in November. This week they are installing solar panels on their roof and as well as on a structure in the parking lot.

“The whole reason is to offset some of the utility costs and become a more green movie theater,” Fridley Theatres President Russell Vannorsdel said.

The Palms Theatres said the solar panels will produce as much as 70% of the electrical usage for the entire theater. The project includes about 1,500 panels on the roof and parking structure and it costs about $1 million.

“I’m not aware of any other theaters in the region that are putting solar panels on top of their theater, and honestly, I have a lot of national industry news and I’m not aware of anyone doing it in the nation either,” Vannorsdel said.

Inside the 70-foot concrete walls the IMAX theater is taking shape. It will feature an 85-foot-wide and a screen that stands 7 stories tall. The IMAX holds 318 luxury, heated, reclining seats as well as dual laser projectors.

“The dual laser projection system is the highest level of output and contrast. The blacks are black, the whites are white and every color in between is extremely dynamic, this is the place to come to watch movies if you love movies,” Vannorsdel said.

There will be 14 additional screens inside the Palms Theatres, all with luxury recliners, eight of those auditoriums will come with in-seat food and beverage options with a full wait-staff.