On Wednesday, Jan. 3, members of the public celebrated the reveal event of Waukee’s new Fridley Theatres location, the “Palms Theatre.” The new state-of-the-art complex will be located at NE Westgate Drive and NE Dartmoor Drive, and will feature an IMAX, luxury recliners, an in-seat food and beverage auditorium, as well as a restaurant and bar.


Representatives from Fridley Theatres, the City of Waukee, and the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce all met at Waukee City Hall to learn more about the Palms Theatre.


Fridley Theatres Director of Operations, Russel Vannorsdel said Waukee has been a desired location for the company.


“The residents of the community as it continues to grow is very attractive to Fridley Theatres, we’ve been looking at this community for six years,” Vannorsdel said.


The Palms Theatre will feature an 85-foot wide IMAX Laser GT auditorium, a 75-foot wide and five-and-a-half story high Fridley-branded Laser XL Digital auditorium (XLD), and eight in-seat food and beverage auditoriums, according to a press release provided by the City of Waukee.


In addition, the theatre will have a laser projection, Dolby Atmos sound and reserved seating, as well as a full restaurant and bar.


“Our focus is to provide our guests with the greatest movie experience in the state. The Palms Theatre brings a number of really exciting amenities to the said,” Vannorsdel said. “The IMAX auditorium is actually one of only four privately-owned Laser GT systems in the United States, and it will have the largest screen in Iowa.”


Waukee Mayor Bill Peard expressed his appreciation for the city’s new project.


“On behalf of myself and the Waukee City Council members, I can confidently say that we look forward to the Palms bringing a unique theatre experience to Waukee, which will be unlike any other in the Des Moines metro-area, and perhaps the state,” Mayor Peard said. “I never imagined that an 85 foot IMAX Auditorium would be situated just down the street from my house.”


“As Waukee continues to grow, our residents are visitors seek out top-notch amenities, as a City we serve that need through investments and parks, trails, recreation and library programs,” Peard said. “Now with the addition of Fridley Theatres to the map, Waukee will become a real entertainment destination.”


According to the press release, the digital equipment used for the theatre is cutting-edge: “Laser projection provides the highest picture quality and the greatest spectrum of visible colors. Its overall brightness is unmatched. Dolby Atmos sound systems utilize speakers throughout the space, including the ceiling, to create an infinite, immersive field of sound. All auditoriums will also feature giant, wall-to-wall screens, and half of the complex will be outfitted with RealD 3D capabilities.”


The complex is anticipating a completed date by the end of 2018, Vannorsdel says.


Mayor Peard believes the the addition will further provide more opportunity to City of Waukee.


“I think the Palms project will draw more economic development to an already bustling area, and will provide community members and visitors with cutting edge theatre experiences for years to come.”