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BMZ Column: A Proud Day in America


Written by: Cindy Aylward
Date: October 25, 2001

BMZ Marketing Consultant and 20-year industry veteran Cindy Aylward talks about what IMAX means to her in these times.


Category: Columns

In the fall of 1985, I was working for a friendly competitor to IMAX. I had some meetings in the Baltimore area, so I took an extra day of my own time to drive to Washington, D.C. This was my first visit to our nation’s Capitol. It was one of those perfect days . . . the sky was clear, the air was crisp and the leaves on the trees were a zillion colors.

I spent the morning doing what “first-timers” do . . . I went to the top of the Washington Monument and sat on the steps of Mr. Lincoln. Just seeing the Capital Building and the White House filled me with pride and emotion that I’ll never forget.

Next on my walking tour was the real mission for my trip – to see the recently released IMAX film, The Dream is Alive, at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. I paid my money (after all, I was a competitor), sat in the perfect seat (exactly in the middle of the theater), relaxed and was soon immersed in the most amazing film experience of my life. Walter Cronkite’s reassuring voice, powerful images from space . . . it took every ounce of inner strength to keep from standing up and singing “God Bless America”! When the film ended, I wiped a few tears of emotion from my eyes, left the theater, bought another ticket (my money!), and saw the film again. It was perfect!

Next spring, IMAX Corporation’s Space Station (in 3D!) will take the experience of “being there” in space to breathtaking new levels. Interestingly, this groundbreaking film chronicles the building of the most advanced space station yet by 16 nations, including former Cold War enemies. It has been filmed entirely by the international crew of astronauts, trained by virtuoso Big Movie DP, James Neihouse.

I realize that exploration in space and on giant movie screens may seem a bit shallow, given what’s going on, but I personally find this new, awe-inspiring, pulse-quickening, incredibly moving example of peaceful, international cooperation more welcome than ever. Just think, from up there in space, the divisions fall away, and the earth looks like a single, beautiful planet. Space Station 3D reminds us that the dream is alive!

In these difficult times, our country and global friends have come together with a deeper sense of commitment and resolve than ever before. We can all use healthy doses of inspiration – and hope. And I’m proud to be part of a truly international “Big Movie” community that works hard to inspire, engage, and entertain kids and family audiences, around the world.

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