(Royal BC Museum IMAX)

The Royal BC Museum has purchased the adjacent IMAX theatre for $3.8 million.

In an announcement Monday morning, the museum stated that they have purchased the theatre from Destination Cinema Inc. through a government grant.

The purchase was made as part of long term planning to modernize the museum.

“This is an exciting step for the Royal BC Museum modernization,” said Professor Jack Lohman, CEO in a statement.

“Bringing IMAX Victoria into the Museum operation opens up more educational opportunities as we work to update the museum.”

See also: IMAX Victoria at Royal BC Museum will reopen this Friday

The Royal BC Museum first announced plans to develop and modernize the facility to “protect its historic holdings and provide better access to its collections” in February 2019.

Amalgamating IMAX into the museum’s holdings will mean that the potential re-development process will not be impacted by a private lease agreement down the road.

The theatre has been functioning within the museum since it first opened in 1998.

It reopened to the public on July 3 after COVID-19 induced closures, with a reduced capacity of 50 people, providing ample opportunity for patrons to maintain physical distancing.

According to the museum, the IMAX theatre will continue to show documentary features as well as Hollywood feature films, and current theatre staff will now be employed by the Royal BC Museum.

The theatre is currently showing nature documentary titles like Great Bear Rainforest, Turtle Odyssey, and Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker.