Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - IMAX or Cinerama

For those of you that 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 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 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 there are some movies, such as the huge mega blockbuster The Avengers, that have been playing at the Pacific Science Center's still-awesome-but-not-nearly-as-impressive "PACCAR IMAX Theater".

Oh 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.

Also, you can rest assured my friends, I do have confirmation that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which stars Jennifer Lawrence is indeed showing in the Boeing IMAX Theater so here goes.

The Boeing IMAX Theater:
Height: 60 feet
Width: 80 feet
Capacity: 405
Adult Ticket: $14.75

The Seattle Cinerama:
Height: 30 feet
Width: 68 feet
Capacity: 808
Adult Ticket: $11.00

For those really wondering, here's one more.

Regal Thornton Place IMAX Theater:
Height: 28.5 feet
Width: 48 feet
Adult IMAX Ticket: $16.50!!
(Yes, that says $16.50!)

The last set of stats is pretty much what you will also find at the Southcenter Mall IMAX, Alderwood Mall IMAX, and any other "IMAX" theater that is in a mall location. 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. You really won't miss anything.

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 state of the art sound system.

It is also very important for you to know that key portions of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire have been shot with IMAX cameras. Josh Hutcherson, who reprises his role as Peeta Mellark in the sequel, revealed in an an interview with MTV that the arena sequences will all be shown in IMAX format and have been filmed using IMAX cameras.

"All the stuff in the arena is going to be IMAX," Hutcherson explained, "So when you go see it in IMAX, you'll see the regular movie when we're in the Districts and in the Capitol. When you see us go up in the pod in the games, it will open up into IMAX. It will be amazing. It's very cool."

This is especially noteworthy since the only major motion pictures ever to have included any actual IMAX footage to this point are:

What the Cinerama has going for it, aside from the most state of the art audio and video systems on the planet, is double the seating capacity, more comfortable seats, fold up armrests, cheaper concession and ticket prices, and it is simply the coolest theater you will ever walk in to.

My recommendation would be to see Catching Fire 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.

CLICK HERE to read our review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire!

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.


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