“i-What?”. I had totally no proviso of what IMAX was. All ns knew to be it sounded an terrible lot prefer the latest robotic vacuum cleaner released by a dodgy company, and my neighborhood cinema wanted me to pay an ext for it. Being a generosity movie-goer that ns am, cough*, ns waved those extra dollars native my pocket goodbye together I opted because that the supposedly-better cinema endure that i was so i heard about. If you’re unfamiliar with what IMAX is and are same curious to know more, then, have actually a seat.

I remembered that the very first time I got into the an IMAX theater, i was watching some random movie which was not shot in IMAX. The movie chin was not memorable, hence I forgot which one, yet then, the cinema hall was a various story together.




You are watching: Difference between imax and regular movies

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Source: Digitaltrends
The greatest takeaway was the seating arrangement

I remember plainly that as I was looking for my seat in the usually dark cinema hall, something strange caught my attention. The step-down between the rear and also the prior seats room unusually steep, the feels much more at house in a stadium 보다 a cinema hall. To add to the sensation of awkwardness, together I entered the room from the much right, my peripheral vision captured what looked choose a distortion of edge from the seats situated at the the furthest left the the hall. Yes, the seats room angled in the direction of me, which makes the seat rows a gentle semi-circle, combined.

Then, yes sir that large screen

“At this rate..,” I claimed to myself, “I’ll be looking in ~ my knee to glimpse in ~ the screen, perhaps.” ns was plainly berating the peculiar seating arrangement. Then come the screen. Something was amiss. The element ratio was definitely off, as it looked a lot square-er (is there together a word?) than consistent theater screens. Which likewise meant the the all at once screen size was remarkable bigger and also takes up more of your vision.

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Source: IMAX

Having been through a couple of movies in IMAX, I deserve to vouch the there’s one point that important stands out in IMAX theaters: immersion. If you select a middle seat and also watch something completely shot in IMAX (not IMAX optimized, be careful with this one) choose Nolan’s Dunkirk and also Avengers: Infinity War, you’ll notice that your head will certainly move rather of her eyes come focus-hunt on details objects on-screen, specifically the ones closer to the screen edge. That said, if girlfriend truly concentration your sight on the character illustrated at the center of the screen, a vast chunk that the external edge will fall under her peripheral vision. This come in both an excellent and bad points.

The poor one is the course, if you’re a perfectionist and want come ‘see everything’ in the film, you’ll finish up providing your neck an significant workout that your neck clearly won’t give thanks to you for. The good? That combination of seating setup that draws you closer to the screen, working in tandem with that gigantic display size, makes you feel that you’re in ~ the facility of the movie instead of stalking it from far away.

The film format (for the geeks)

Curiosity kicked in tough after my initial foray into an IMAX theater, therefore I decided to destruction a small deeper into this IMAX thing. Suffice to say that come to be a theater skilled I did not, yet one thing that great me, was the film format for IMAX.


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Source: HowStuffWorks

Standard film size comes at 35mm, and sometimes a larger 70mm film format is used. Together you deserve to see native the illustration above, generally, the film format for IMAX is additionally referred to together 70mm, yet the real estate of one IMAX movie is telling a different story altogether. This is precisely as result of one factor alone; the IMAX movie is moving in a different direction throughout projection. Typical 35mm and also 70mm films move vertically. I found it those perforations ~ above the left and right next of those films? Those space ‘holes’ because that projector ‘claws’ to grab and also pull-down the film together the movie transitions from frame to frame.

Now, if you versus that with the IMAX film, you’ll an alert that the perforations operation on top and also below the film. Yes, rather of 70mm wide, the film is now 70 milimeters high and also 15 perforations wide, and also specifically described as 15/70mm format. And instead of relocating top-down, the IMAX film operation horizontally throughout projection.

But, wait a minute, aren’t all modern cinemas using digital estimate nowadays?

Yes, the is clearly true. It’s together a shame that neither you no one I deserve to possibly experience the ‘raw’ IMAX estimate anymore, i beg your pardon was declared to have an exceptional resolution that 12 thousand horizontal lines (12K). But even then, the modern IMAX digital projectors are still a modern technology to behold.

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IMAX 4K laser projectors. Source: IMAX

As of the time of composing this, IMAX has adopted to a twin projector system, either featuring dual-2K or dual-4K-laser projectors. These dual projector setup permitted IMAX theaters to superimpose the output of both projectors onto each other, with half a pixel offset. The an outcome is a (claimed) greater perception of in its entirety resolution, and also even better contrast.

Improved sound quality, and everything else

Perhaps the just grey area with IMAX is the audio department, which, according to IMAX’s main site, is a mix that ‘perfectly tuned sound system’ and ‘precise speak orientation’ which leaves no poor audio spot in ~ the cinema hall, consisting of those that are much away from the speakers. I assume the they are referring come those who prefer to seat in ~ the earlier rows the the theater. Yes, i’m looking in ~ you, romantic couples.

From my restricted personal experience, to dance from chair to chair in an IMAX theater to test the sound top quality in every seat is fairly a surefire means to it is in escorted the end by the security. To it is in fair, in Dunkirk, the sounds were rather majestic. Oh man, anytime a pistol fires, specifically when the cartridge pierces with sheets that metal, I have actually only 2 words for it; deafening and also crisp. Yet in some movies choose Thor: Ragnarok, yes sir no discernible improvement over the likes of a Dolby Atmos hall. Simply put, if you room hoping that IMAX will bring you cutting edge audio that is leaps and also bounds ahead of other currently established systems like Atmos, you’re tied to be disappointed.

Here come a funny question, is IMAX because that you?

If you insist that every other movie the is screened in an IMAX hall must be watched in IMAX, I doubt that your financial institution account will certainly hate you because that that. Of course, granted that you have an unlimited spending plan for every of your movie-day-outs, this have to be fine, but I opine that you need to skip those “optimized for IMAX” movies and watch castle in continual halls instead. Reserve her splurge ~ above IMAX tickets just for movies which room truly shoot (mostly) through the IMAX film format, favor Nolan’s flicks, and Avengers: Infinity War and also Endgame. Even then, if, for some unknown reasons, girlfriend still feel the you’re not gaining your bang because that buck through your IMAX tickets, think about this:

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Behind the scene of Interstellar. Source: Hoyte valve Hoytema
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Nolan and also his crew behind the scene of Dunkirk. Source: Hoyte van Hoytema

Simply take it look in ~ those monstrous cameras required to create the movie. Feeling a lot better, right?




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Posted in Movie NewsTagged Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema, IMAX

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