Laser Rockin' at the IMAX

By Michael A. Lindenberger

Paying $7.50 for a pair of 3-D glasses and a seat in front of a movie screen in order to watch laser images float along to tunes by Arrowsmith, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin might not sound like such a great deal.

After all, you could turn out the lights at home, crank up your Sony and listen to "Dark Side of the Moon" in front of the Magnavox anytime.

But then again you wouldn't have the lasers dancing across the screen. And the screen, for that matter, wouldn't be four stories tall. And I dont care how loud your home stereo is, it ain't as loud as the world-class system the Louisville Science Center on Main Street has to offer for those one-hour shows.

A friend and I recently attended the Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin laser shows and found— frankly, to our surprise — the shows well worth the asking price. Each show is an hour and after two hours of sitting through Pink Floyd and the bone-crunching rendition of a smattering of Led Zeppelin songs, we were disappointed we hadn't showed up early enough for the 8 p. m. Arrowsmith sampler.

The Pink Floyd show was good but not completely satisfying, as if the lyrics called for more of a companion medium than the thin graphic made enough by the 3-D effects to make them worthwhile). Still, by the time the album ended, I was ready for a stretch.

Not so with the next show (which cost an additional $7.50). The only thing disappointing about the Led Zeppelin show was that it lasted just an hour. Selecting just 60 minutes of their music to play on a theater sound system the Imax claims is one of the best in the nation is like picking your best man from a handful of childhood buddies — it s not easy.

But they did a good job of it. I would have liked to hear "Thank You" and "In the Evening" instead of the overplayed "Rock and Roll" and "Stairway to Heaven," but was very gratified to hear "Good Times, Bad Times."

Walking out of the theater onto Main Street at 11 p.m., I was surprised to find that I was eager for more— and had the 11 0'clock show been a replay of the Zeppelin – or Arrowsmith —shows, I would have gladly settled into another seat for the remaining hours. I suppose in this age of technology run rampant, it doesn't take a live performance to prompt a request for an encore. At least not from me and not when it's Led Zeppelin and not when it s real loud.