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Review: 'Rocky Mountain Express' IMAX Movie

IMAX movie now playing at Pacific Science Center thrills train fans of all ages

Nancy Chaney

Published on: December 18, 2017

Rocky Mountain Express IMAX movie still

Is there a train fan in your life? If so, don’t miss "Rocky Mountain Express," an IMAX movie with chugging train action and gorgeous mountain scenery now showing at Pacific Science Center.

This documentary film tells the story of railroad construction across Canada in the late 1800s, tracing progress westward from Vancouver and through nearly impassable mountain ranges. If that sounds boring, don’t be fooled. This movie features close-up footage of a beautifully-restored historic steam engine, breathtaking IMAX scenery and plenty of good music. (We particularly enjoyed Peter, Paul and Mary’s version of “500 Miles.”)

Interspersed with the IMAX footage are historic images of the hardships encountered by railroad workers and descriptions of feats of engineering required to build tracks scaling the mountains. Train fanatics and others alike will enjoy this excellent film.

The movie runs about 45 minutes and is rated G, for all audiences. A 2½ year-old in our party liked everything about the movie “except the talking” but sat still, engaged in the film, until the last couple of minutes, possibly an attention span record!

Bottom line: We highly recommend "Rocky Mountain Express" for train aficionados, ages 2 to 100, and those who love them.

Notes for parents: The volume of some steam train sounds in the film are quite loud. Those very sensitive to noise may find some moments too loud for their liking. This film is not in 3D.

If you go...

Where: Pacific Science Center's IMAX Theater, 200 Second Ave. N., Seattle

When: "Rocky Mountain Express" has daily show times through Jan. 1, 2018, plus Jan. 12–15, 2018, during On the Move, the latest iteration of Pacific Science Center's annual model railroad show.

Tickets: $10.75 per adult, $8.75 per youth (ages 6–15); $6.75 per child (ages 3–5); ages 2 and under are free. Pacific Science Center members receive a discount. Buy tickets online or at the door. Admisison to Pacific Science Center exhibits not included.

More train fun: Go on real-life train excursion (for just a few hours) with these local train adventures.

More fun at Seattle Center: Check out our age-by-age guide to Seattle Center for fun at the Center for tots to teens and everyone else. And the fantastic Artists at Play playground, between the Armory and MoPop, is a must visit. Find info on our list of best adventure playgrounds.

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