Holiday Classic 'Polar Express' Rolls into Indy IMAX

Pajama parties (including free admission for kids sporting bed threads) and more are on tap for the film’s run downtown.

Get ready to celebrate the Christmas season like it’s 2004—or something like that. That year, when The Polar Express was originally released, the average price of a standard movie ticket was $6.21. Prices these days for IMAX and 3D films, now the norm, are $13, but the Indiana State Museum had found a route around that. Be sure to tell your kids to get ready for bed before you surprise them soon with a night at the (very big) movies.

Here’s why: Starting on Nov. 29, the museum will host families (and all other comers) who relish the modern Christmas classic, The Polar Express IMAX 3D Experience, in its true-stadium-seating theater. In addition to regular showings (see details below), the theater will hold special “pajama party” screenings every Friday and Saturday from Nov. 29 to Dec. 21.

Filmgoers will be able to watch the 2004 film, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks (in voice and animated likeness), in the comfort of their own pajamas. While the kids may be happy in their PJs, the event will also make parents’ wallets feel content. Those who enter with a child 12 years old or younger who is wearing bed clothes will garner the discount of one free child ticket for every adult ticket. All other moviegoers must pay full price.

This PJs theme relates to the movie itself: In The Polar Express, a nameless boy is awakened in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve by the sound of a train outside his house. Clad only in his pajamas, he hops on this (wait for it) Polar Express and goes on an adventure with other kids to the North Pole so as to find for himself personal meaning in Christmas.

While famous for his movies Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?The Polar Express marked Zemeckis’ first foray into the world of motion-capture animation, which would go on to include Beowulf and A Christmas Carol (2009 version).


Nov. 29 through Dec. 21. Showtimes daily, Monday–Thursday 10 a.m., Friday–Sunday 1:35 p.m., and pajama parties Friday–Saturday 7:30 p.m. (Subject to change; call for updates.) 650 W. Washington St., 317-233-4629,