The Malco Grandview Cinema here is set for a major upgrade that includes bringing IMAX screens to the Madison theater in time for the next big Star Wars release in December.

Memphis-based Malco Theaters announced Thursday that moviegoers can soon enjoy "the world’s most immersive cinematic experience" when the IMAX theater opens in time for the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on December 20, as the first phase of a suite of upgrades.

The Madison Malco location will be the first and currently only IMAX theater in the State. 

As of June 31, 2019, there were 1,541 IMAX theater systems including 1,445 commercial multiplexes, 11 commercial destinations and 81 institutional screens operating in 81 territories.

The previous closest IMAX screens are out of state in New Orleans, Memphis and a few cities in Alabama, including Mobile and Tuscaloosa.

President and COO of the 104-year-old Malco company Davide Tashie said that it will be custom-designed for use in the existing multiplex theater and will be the first phase of upgrades to the Madison location.

“We looked at all of our options regarding a large format solution and came to the conclusion that no one has a better combination of quality, full immersion cinema, and brand awareness than IMAX,” Tashie said. “We are excited to add The IMAX Experience to the region and hope it will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

IMAX Theaters President Mark Welton said the new IMAX at the Grandview Cinema will offer patrons a “truly immersive cinematic experience, allowing them to enjoy the biggest blockbusters like never before.”

IMAX’s cutting-edge projection system delivers crystal-clear images. Clearer picture combined with IMAX’s customized theater geometry and digital audio system creates a powerful and immersive environment for audiences.

“We are excited to welcome another Malco Theaters location to the IMAX business,” Welton said. “Together, we look forward to introducing the world’s most immersive cinema-going experience to new audiences across Mississippi.” 

Additional Phase 1 renovation plans include upgrading the concession area to the Malco Cinema Grill, featuring expanded food and drink options, plus installation of space for private events with areas dedicated to emerging technologies such as virtual reality. The Phase 2 upgrade will include a full renovation to luxury reserved recliner seats.