The London IMAX was designed by Bryan Avery of Avery Associates Architects and completed in May 1999. The screen is the largest in Britain (20m high and 26m wide). It has a seating capacity of just under 500 and a 12,000 Watt digital surround sound system. Although the site is surrounded by traffic and has an underground line just four metres below, the architects and engineers accounted for this in their design and the entire upper structure sits on anti vibration bearings to prevent noise transference.
The cinema won several awards at the time of opening, including a Design Council Millennium Products Award in 1999 and a Civic Trust Award in 2000.
Other IMAX in London
London has another traditional IMAX cinema at the Science Museum in South Kensington/Albertopolis and in December 2008 gained IMAX digital cinemas at Odeon cinemas in Greenwich and Wimbledon. The BFI IMAX is still the biggest cinema screen in Britain (it is 540m²; the Science Museum IMAX is 408m², while the two Odeon IMAX screens are each just 120m²).