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Fire departments from Shakopee, Savage, and Prior Lake used fog machines to perform search and rescue drills inside an IMAX theater at Valleyfair scheduled to be demolished next week on Monday, October 28, 2013 in Shakopee, Minn. The IMAX has been a part of the Valleyfair Live Entertainment line-up since 1982 with fun and educational movies on its larger than life screen. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER • reneejones@startribune.com

RENÉE JONES SCHNEIDER • reneejones@startribune.com,

It was a drill, not for your amusement: Valleyfair Imax theater set ablaze

  • October 28, 2013 - 10:54 PM

The doomed Imax movie theater at Valleyfair became the scene of one final drama Monday, as firefighters used the building for a training exercise at the Shakopee amusement park, which is closed for the season.

The 500-seat theater is slated for demolition within the next few weeks to make way for a yet-to-be-announced park expansion.

Fire departments from Shakopee, Savage and Prior Lake used fog machines and small contained fires to perform search and rescue drills inside the 31-year-old theater.

The plan was for firetrucks to use the back entrance and park near the theater. Firefighters were to force their way in and look for dummies or firefighters acting as missing ushers and a projectionist.

The theater presented one educational feature each season, rather than typical box office fare, said park spokesman Todd Larkin. Its final selection, “T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous,” closed on Labor Day.

Paul Walsh

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