Peoria Riverfront Museum – Giant Screen Theater (GST)

What’s five stories high, seven stories wide, sharp and powerful?

The Peoria Riverfront Museum’s Giant Screen Theater!

Recently, I headed over to the museum with a group of friends to see the premiere of Despicable Me 2 in 3D on the biggest screen in the area. Let me tell you that I was blown away. The screen was way larger than I had ever imagined. The picture was as sharp as a needle, not sacrificing quality for size one bit. And as for the sound, the word powerful might be understating the impact.

Here’s a description of my experience at the Giant Screen Theater.

As my group of friends entered the lobby, we immediately stopped at the concessions counter. What’s a good movie without a soda and some snacks? Surprisingly, the prices were considerably lower than I thought they’d be. For two medium drinks and a large popcorn, it only cost me $9, which is an arm and a leg cheaper than most theaters these days. It’s also nice to know that local popcorn from BLUHAVEN Farm is featured, so you’re supporting the local economy.

Because the movie was being shown in 3D, we were handed a pair of those dorky glasses that are miles from the front of the fashion world as we walked in, but I think that’s the industry standard. It was nice to see that children are given smaller glasses, another feature that isn’t common in most theaters. As we entered, the staff was extremely pleasant, making sure we had everything we needed before walking in.

As we took our seats, everyone seemed to be talking about the size of the screen, which is larger than the seating area itself. The pre-movie commercials were only shown using three quarters of the screen, maybe a technique used to build up the anticipation of seeing the oversized display in all its glory. After hearing about this for over a year, I thought I had a good idea of what I was in for.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

As the lights were dimmed and the commercials vanished, a warning message was read. I’m paraphrasing, but it basically said that if you feel dizzy or lightheaded during the movie, you should close your eyes and take a few deep breathes. I overhead a lot of laughing and even a comment along the lines of, “What are we getting ourselves into?”Theatre ORIGINAL

During the first preview, one of my friends completely dumped a bag of popcorn right off the side of her seat. I think kernels flew into both the rows below and above us. It was violent. She claims that she just dropped it, but I’m confident that it had something to do with the preview for the Sea Monsters film that featured a shark coming out of nowhere and shooting through the screen, seemingly coming inches from our foreheads (3D effect). I don’t think the timing was a coincidence.

It was impossible to take my eyes off the screen for two hours, even when seeing a light-hearted movie like Despicable Me 2. Seeing an action packed movie or an educational film that features incredible camera work must be mind-blowing!

As we left the theater that night, we all agreed that we’d be back soon. The theater is something that, for some reason, hasn’t been as popular as it should be. The mixture of Hollywood/Blockbuster movies and educational films makes this place something you can’t quite find anywhere else in the area. And after experiencing it for myself, I’d recommend it to everyone regardless of age or interests.

There’s no reason that something this fun and different in Peoria should stay hidden! So, get to the riverfront and get ready to be captivated by something that’s five stories high, seven stories wide, sharp and powerful.

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

For upcoming GST showtimes, click here.

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