Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron - 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 Avengers: Age of Ultron, 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 also some movies, such as the huge mega blockbuster The Avengers, that are shown in the Pacific Science Center's 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, The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be shown in the newly remodeled Boeing IMAX theater so here goes.

The Boeing IMAX Theater:
Height: 60 feet
Width: 80 feet
Capacity: 350
Adult 3D IMAX Ticket: $15.00

The Seattle Cinerama:
Height: 30 feet
Width: 68 feet
Capacity: 560
Adult 2D Ticket: $15.00

For those really wondering, here is one more.

Regal Thornton Place IMAX Theater:
Height: 28.5 feet
Width: 48 feet
Capacity: Undisclosed
Adult 3D IMAX Ticket: $18.75!!

The last set of stats is basically what you will find at the Lincoln Square Theater IMAX, 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.

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 The Avengers: Age of Ultron does NOT contain any scenes that were filmed using actual IMAX cameras. With this in mind, the uniquely shaped screen of an IMAX theater will not be fully utilized without an actual IMAX filmed image being projected onto it. This has the most impact on the height measurement of an IMAX screen so take that into consideration when looking at the stats above.

The fine folks who created The Avengers: Age of Ultron actually implemented a digital post conversion process which is the standard way to get a movie on to IMAX screens from the original film or digital source material when IMAX cameras are not actually used. Below is a list of the only major motion pictures ever to have any actual IMAX footage:

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. That being said, I am really looking forward to seeing all the upgrades at the Boeing IMAX so it really is a toss up at this point.

My best recommendation would be to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron 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.

Also, CLICK HERE to read my review of the movie as well as an after-viewing comparison of the Cinerama and Boeing IMAX theaters.


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