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Big screen debut: Imax opening spin studio in Dumbo this week - Brooklyn Paper

Big screen debut: Imax opening spin studio in Dumbo this week

A new spin: The Imax Shift spin studio (the first of its kind) is opening in Dumbo next week.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Call it a move-ie theater!

Colossal cinema chain Imax intends to revolutionize the fitness industry with a new Dumbo gym where patrons pedal on exercise bikes in front of its signature super-screens, making it seem like they’re riding through city streets or even outer space, according to a company honcho.

“We’re trying to redefine indoor cycling and do what Imax movies have been doing for the last several decades,” said Bryan Macovici, who is the chief executive officer of Imax Shift, which opens on May 5.

The sweat box at Plymouth and Adams streets sports 50 bikes, a huge two-and-a-half-story screen that stretches nearly the length of a school bus, and the same sound system found in Imax cinemaplexes.

Riders won’t be watching the mammoth motion picture company’s standard documentary fare, though — a live instructor will push them through jungles, coastlines, and more abstract vistas. Each trainer will design their own unique visuals and soundtrack for the virtual excursions, so every 45-minute journey differs from the last, Macovici said.

“This isn’t a situation where we’ve designed ‘the nature ride’ or ‘the space ride,’” he said. “Every ride will be unique.”

Staring at the screen instead of a mirror helps the bikers to focus on themselves, rather than everyone else around them, according to one of the studio’s instructors.

“With a mirror it can turn into comparing and judgment — comparing yourself to the person next to you and asking, ‘Am I doing it as fast as them?’ ” said trainer Bree Branker.

Imax Shift is the first of several forthcoming Dumbo boutique fitness franchises where clients can emulate real-life workouts without getting their hands dirty.

Splash-free rowing center chain Row House — where exercisers can stroke up a storm on rowing machines next to artsy photos of water — is slated to open its first Brooklyn location on Prospect Street.

And a few doors down, Shadow Box — a Manhattan boxing gym offering complimentary beauty products but no blows to the head — will also make its first foray into the borough later this year.

Imax Shift [127 Plymouth St. at Adams Street in Dumbo, (718) 858–1200, www.imaxshift.com] Opens May 5. Classes start at $31.

What is Imax Shift like? We sent a reporter to try it out!

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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