For those of you here in the Seattle area who are trying to figure out exactly which movie theater will give you the most bang for your hard earned buck when you head out to see Captain America: Civil War, I have put together some information that I hope will help you make the right choice.
Now, I'm not going to compare every screen in the greater Seattle area, but I am going to give you the lowdown on the two big players. The Seattle Cinerama and the Pacific Science Center IMAX theaters. Right off the bat, you're thinking..."No contest, IMAX wins every time!"
Clearly you need to read my other blog post regarding IMAX.
You can read it HERE, but finish this article first.
Normally, I would agree with the IMAX sentiment assuming the movie is playing in the unbelievably awesome "Boeing IMAX Theater", but keep in mind some movies at the Pacific Science Center are shown in the still-awesome-but-not-nearly-as-impressive "PACCAR IMAX Theater".
Oh, you didn't know there was more than one IMAX screen at the Science Center? Well, now that you know, I'm going to keep this simple and just throw down some basic theater screen stats for you to review. Oh, and according to the Science Center's website, Captain America: Civil War will be shown in the recently remodeled Boeing IMAX theater so here goes.
The Boeing IMAX Theater:
Height: 60 feet
Width: 80 feet
Reserved Seating Capacity: 373
Adult 3D IMAX Ticket: $15.50
The Seattle Cinerama:
Height: 30 feet
Width: 68 feet
Reserved Seating Capacity: 560
Adult 2D Ticket: $15.00
Regal Thornton Place IMAX Theater:
Height: 28.5 feet
Width: 48 feet
Reserved Seating Capacity: 275
Adult 3D IMAX Ticket: $18.88
The last set of stats is basically what you will also find at the Lincoln Square Theater IMAX, Southcenter Mall IMAX, Alderwood Mall IMAX, and any other "IMAX" theater that is in or near a mall although not all of them offer reserved seating. The much higher price tag really isn't justified as evidenced by the screen size comparison. If you live in one of those areas, save yourself some cash for popcorn or candy and see the movie on a non "IMAX" screen.
If you are basing your decision on screen size alone then the Boeing IMAX theater is the easy choice. The screen itself literally towers above anything else and the sound is also unparalleled even when stacked up against the Cinerama's brand new state of the art sound system. Both theaters have recently undergone extensive upgrades bringing them both to the forefront of the premier theaters anywhere in the world.
Another key decision-making factor is that Captain America: Civil War does contain about 14 minutes of footage that was filmed with IMAX cameras.While this may not seem like much, they used the format in key moments during big action sequences so it definitely does have an impact when it's needed most. Even with limited use, this is still one of only about a dozen feature films to use the technology and there has yet to be one that uses the format entirely.
What the Cinerama has going for it, aside from the most state of the art audio and video systems on the planet, is nearly double the seating capacity, more comfortable seats, cheaper and locally sourced concessions, and it is simply the coolest theater you will ever walk in to. You'll notice in the above comparison, the Cinerama option is for 2D presentation while the others are for 3D.
The Cinerama has a standing policy where they will only show a movie in 3D if it was filmed with 3D cameras and this movie was not. There is a post conversion process that movie studios will use to make their films available in the 3D format and, even with advances in the technology, it doesn't always give the best result.
My best recommendation would be to see Captain America: Civil War at both venues so you can judge for yourself, but if you can only see it once then you will have to make the decision on your own. Hopefully I have given you enough information to help you make the right choice.
Want to know more about IMAX screens that aren't even anywhere near as big as the non-IMAX Cinerama screen? Go back to the top of the page and check out that other blog post (or CLICK HERE). You may never go back to any of the mall "IMAX" theaters ever again.