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Big-screen slot machines

Like movies, slot machines can provide an escape from our daily lives. So it follows that many slot machines have movie themes.

In recent weeks, games based on "Avatar," "Beetlejuice" and "Flashdance" have appeared in South Florida casinos.

Manufacturer International Game Technology last year launched an "Avatar" game, and has since released two more: "Avatar Video Slots" and "Avatar: Treasure of Pandora." Both feature a 42-inch cabinet, which houses a video screen that is as big as any TV's. Players are put in the middle of the fight between humans and the Na'vi. During bonus rounds, players are taken on a flight among Na'vi warriors, with spectacular views of their planet's flora and fauna.

"Beetlejuice" features the creepy, eccentric characters from the 1988 movie, with oversize faces spinning randomly as slot symbols. Naturally, when players spin in a bonus round, the action happens after the machine says, "Beetlejuice" three times.

Aristocrat Gaming's "Flashdance" is based on the 1983 movie with Jennifer Beals, and includes the Flashdance Progressive, in which players collect records to determine their progressive jackpot prize.

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