Ever since we were children, my sisters and I have been fascinated by the Art Deco structure of Cincinnati's Union Terminal. Not only a historic landmark, the American Institute of Architects consider it to be one of the top 50 architecturally significant buildings in America. Beyond being utilized as a museum center, the building also houses the Robert D. Linder Family OMNIMAX Theater. In 2010, the space received a complete facelift including a seamless five-story screen, new digital sound system, new projector lens and new seats from Spain. This advanced technology immerses its audience directly into the film, transforming a viewer into a participant in the action.
Jenny and I drove to the northwestern end of downtown Cincinnati to experience the 5 p.m. showing of the most highly-anticipated documentary of the year, Tornado Alley. Like many people, we share a fascination and healthy fear of the absolute power and destruction that twisters create. What better way to simulate the experience of being caught in the middle of a tornado than to sit in the center of the 72-foot diameter tilted dome screen?
Movie Poster Jenny Inside
Lasting only 43 minutes, Tornado Alley is ideal for school-age children and adults alike. Viewers will join filmmaker and storm chaser Sean Casey and a group of research scientists in the VORTEX2 Project as they venture out in customized fleets on a tornado mission through middle America. The combination of research, ingenuity and artful filming that go into this story make it simultaneously educational and thrilling.
Inside Union Terminal OMNIMAX Equipment
After the adrenaline-infused show, Jenny and I needed to unwind a bit. We settled on a visit to Cincinnati's oldest tavern, Arnold's Bar and Grill located on 8th Street downtown. Arnold's features a charming courtyard that is utilized three seasons of the year where patrons can dine al fresco and listen to live music.
Jenny at Arnold's; Jill with an OTR
We were smiling from ear to ear as we sat back and watched a group of regulars dancing cheek to cheek to Dottie Warner and Ricky Nye perform their easy-listening jazz tunes under the café lights on a warm summer evening in the city. This tiny courtyard seemed to be our own little eye of the storm, a respite of calmness in a bustling metropolis.
Not in Cincinnati? The state of Ohio also boasts other impressive OMNIMAX/IMAX theaters:
Cleveland Clinic OMNIMAX Theater at the Great Lakes Science Center
IMAX Theater at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton
The GIANT Screen Theater at COSI (Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus