Gateway: News

Heights, camera, action: Galaxy Theatre looks to build big screen

A plan is in the works to bring an IMAX theater to Gig Harbor.

The Galaxy Theatre has been granted a height exception in order to build a large-format theater. Before obtaining a building permit, the theater will now have to go through a site plan review with the Design Review Board.

Gig Harbor Hearing Examiner Stephen Causseaux approved the exception on March 12.

The new screen, as proposed, would be part of a potential 8,800-square-foot addition to the theater in Uptown. It would house a 40-foot-high screen with Digital Fusion Experience, commonly known as DFX or IMAX. That is 5 feet higher than the average movie screen.

Kristin Undem, of Uptown Gig Harbor, testified on behalf of Gateway Capital, the ownership group of the Galaxy Theatre, before the Hearing Examiner meeting on March 5. The theater is part of the Uptown complex, at 4649 Point Fosdick Drive.

A site plan is currently in the works. Once details are finalized, the plans for the theater will be submitted to city, Undem said by phone Tuesday.

Gig Harbor senior planner Peter Katich said that the plan will need to be reviewed by the city and go through a formal design review.

The Gig Harbor City Council passed an ordinance allowing performance-based height exemption for large format theaters in November 2014. The ordinance requires demonstration of the need for the height and the plans for mitigation on the site.