Places We Love: Rangos Giant Cinema at Carnegie Science Center

The largest, crispest, loudest movie screen in Pittsburgh isn’t just a big picture — it’s a landmark in its own right.
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It’s big. But it’s more than just big.

Some nostalgia-focused locals mourned in 2017, when the Carnegie Science Center announced that its Omnimax theater — a dome-shaped novelty, where images were projected across a giant, curving ceiling — would be replaced. While that attraction did have its charms, it’s no longer enough for a state-of-the-art movie screen to be big.

We’ve seen big. We can do big. You know what’s better? Crisp.

Perfect, stunning 4K visuals paired with Dolby Atmos surround sound are the draw at the Rangos Giant Cinema, the only certified “Giant Screen” in Pittsburgh (70 feet by 38 feet) and also the most staggeringly clear. The images in the globetrotting documentaries typically shown at this marvel of a movie theater are shockingly lifelike; they’ll register in your mind as memories, not scenes from a film.

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Neither museum admission nor accompanying children are required for you to visit the Rangos. Indeed, you shouldn’t think of this theater as merely a place to rest for an hour during a Science Center visit; it’s an anyday destination, particularly with films such as BBC Earth’s “Arctic: Our Frozen Planet” and the nature documentary “Incredible Predators” showing.

Is there an age when you’re too old to look at polar bears and cheetahs? We didn’t think so.

Occasional special programming offers the best look ever at classic films and cult favorites, but don’t wait for an occasion — take an hour to see just how good this screen looks.

We hate to ruin our millennial credibility, but this is way cooler than the dome.

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Insider’s Tip
Don’t roll up a minute before the show begins and tear into the theater; you’ve got selfies to take. The museum’s Robot Hall of Fame is housed in the Rangos Lobby; you’ll find life-size replicas of C-3PO, the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” robots and other android friends. Snap a photo; your Instagram feed will thank you.

While You’re Here:
Making a day of it at the Carnegie Science Center? If you haven’t yet seen the new “Mars: The Next Giant Leap” exhibit, it’s a must. You should also leave time for a trip underwater in the stationary USS Requin (SS 481) submarine. And no visit is complete without studying the whimsical details in the Miniature Railroad & Village.

Categories: Places We Love