Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - IMAX 3D or Cinerama HFR 3D?

For those of you who are debating exactly which movie theater will give you the most bang for your hard earned buck when you are ready to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, 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 Avengers and Gravity, 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, we do have confirmation that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - An IMAX 3D Experience is indeed showing in the Paccar IMAX Theater so here goes.

The Paccar IMAX Theater:
Height: 35 feet
Width: 60 feet
Capacity: 405
IMAX 3D Adult Ticket: $14.75

The Seattle Cinerama:
Height: 30 feet
Width: 68 feet
Capacity: 570
HFR* 3D Adult Ticket: $15.00
(*High Frame Rate)

For those really wondering, here's one more.

Regal Thornton Place IMAX Theater:
Height: 28.5 feet
Width: 48 feet
Adult IMAX 3D Ticket: $18.50!!
(Yes, that says $18.50!)

The last set of stats is basically what you will also find at the Southcenter Mall IMAX, Alderwood Mall IMAX, and any other "IMAX" theater that is in a mall. 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.

Another key decision-making factor is that The Hobbit does NOT contain any scenes that were filmed using actual IMAX cameras. The filmmakers actually implemented a digital post conversion process which is the standard way to get a movie on to IMAX screens from the original source material. In fact the only major motion pictures ever to have any actual IMAX footage to this point would be:

If you are basing your decision on screen size alone then the two theaters are fairly comparable although keep in mind that since the movie was not filmed with IMAX cameras, the full IMAX screen will not be utilized. This takes away the Paccar's height advantage and leaves it lacking in overall size when compared to the Cinerama. The Cinerama also currently has the highest quality projector and sound combination in the world, more seating capacity, more comfortable seats, way better concessions, and it is simply the coolest theater you will ever walk in to.

Given this wealth of information, I would say the Cinerama's HFR 3D is a much better option than the Pacific Science Center's IMAX 3D presentation. That being said, either of them would stand well above any other available option so choose wisely and enjoy the show!


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