Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Furious 7 - 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 Furious 7, 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, Furious 7 will be shown in the PACCAR IMAX theater so here goes.

The PACCAR IMAX Theater:
Height: 35 feet
Width: 60 feet
Capacity: 350
Adult Ticket: $14.75

The Seattle Cinerama:
Height: 30 feet
Width: 68 feet
Capacity: 808
Adult 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 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.

Then there's this from a article: "When someone like Christopher Nolan films a movie like Interstellar on IMAX film stock, it isn't presented properly on those digital screens, seeing as they're only twin digital 35mm projectors angled to fake the 70mm format IMAX is famous for."

Another key decision-making factor is that Furious 7 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 Furious 7 actually implemented a digital post conversion process which is the standard way to get a movie on to IMAX screens from the original 35mm or 70mm 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:

For my money, the Cinerama is easily the best choice as it not only has a very comparable screen size to the PACCAR IMAX, but you also get a comparable ticket price, a huge auditorium with comfortable seats, and very reasonable concession prices. The Cinerama is currently one of the most technologically advanced theaters in the world with the latest projector technology and a custom built Dolby Atmos speaker system. Hopefully I have given you enough information to make the best choice, but whatever you do, go see Furious 7 in a movie theater, you will not be disappointed!

To visit the official Seattle Cinerama website: CLICK HERE

Want to know more about IMAX screens that aren't even anywhere near as big as the non-IMAX Cinerama screen? Go ahead and CLICK HERE to check out the other article I mentioned earlier. You may never go back to any of the mall "IMAX" theaters ever again.


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