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“The Light Before Christmas” Debuts at IMAX Nov. 21st
New Holiday Film Brings Classic Poem to Life on Giant Screen

Light before Christmas poster

Chattanooga, Tenn. (October 23, 2008) – A charming new holiday film, “The Light Before Christmas” will transport audiences at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater into the classic poem of Santa’s late night visit to deliver presents. Opening in Chattanooga on November 21st, this heart-warming tale is brought to life in a style similar to “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Cleverly designed characters, lavishly detailed sets and a musical score that harkens back to many beloved Christmas classics make this film by Evergreen Holiday Classics and Tandem Motion Picture Studios an imagination inspiring event for all ages.

After losing their way on a cold, blustery Christmas Eve, two children, Katie and Makean are rescued by their friend, The Candleman, an old sage who imparts wisdom, hot chocolate and stories. He immediately invites the shivering children to his cozy cottage where he helps them warm up and dry out their mittens.

Knowing a little holiday magic will raise the children’s spirits, The Candleman opens a weathered book and begins to read the classic tale, “The Night Before Christmas.”

To their astonishment, Katie and Makean find themselves as characters in the poem, where they experience the wonder and delight of Santa’s visit to their home, complete with Hob the Elf and a full team of reindeer. Hoping not to be seen, the children sneak from their bedroom and watch wide-eyed as Santa carefully fills the stocking and gently tucks gifts under the glittering Christmas tree.

Just before the closing credits roll, Santa and Hob reappear and take the audience on a whimsical tour through the magical workshop where “The Light Before Christmas” was made. Artists create sets and characters, voice actors demonstrate their talents, and animators devote their skills and experience in bringing the script to life making “The Light Before Christmas” an endearing family film.

The Polar Express 3D” will also return to the IMAX 3D Theater in Chattanooga just in time for the holidays. Your tickets allow passage on an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole where you’re so immersed in the 3D experience you’ll find yourself grasping at falling snowflakes, ducking as the train screeches into your lap and feeling the howl of the steam whistle. “The thrilling experience of the train ride in 3D on the giant IMAX screen makes this film a special family event,” said Cindy Todd, the Aquarium’s marketing director.

The holiday film is based on the classic Caldecott medal-winning children's book written by Chris Van Allsburg and stars Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks.
In the story a young boy lies awake in his room one snowy Christmas Eve. Suddenly, he is startled by a thunderous roar. Clearing the mist from his window he sees the most amazing sight—a gleaming black train rumbles to a stop right in front of his house.

Beloved by children, the “The Polar Express” holds a special appeal for adults as well, who remember their own childhood excitement and anticipation on one of the most important nights of the year.

“The Polar Express is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. No discounts or complimentary passes will be accepted for “The Polar Express” during its limited engagement, November 21st through January 6th at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. Special pricing for this full-length (one hour and 40 minute) IMAX 3D feature film, “The Polar Express”: Adults 12 and older – $9.95; Children – $7.50.
Both of these special holiday films are presented locally by Subway.


The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $19.95 per adult and $12.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $8.50 per adult and $6.00 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $25.95 for adults and $17.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.
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