IMAX theatres and movies are in a way their own cinematic category – the IMAX experience is nothing that you would normally expect from a regular cinema. It’s so different, with its massive screen and clear picture, you can’t really say you’ve seen something on the big screen without visiting IMAX once. But how and why does it really exist?
Two main types of IMAX
When we say IMAX, we usually think about their huge rectangular screens that are about 16 meters high by 22 meters wide, or, in some cases, even 30 meters high. This means that you’re basically watching a movie on an 8-story apartment building which is wider than it is tall. You don’t even need to look out the window to think this sounds crazy. Now, the classis flat screen isn’t all IMAX is. There are also the IMAX domes, which provide a hemispherical screen that wraps the entire cinema and makes you feel like the film you’re watching is the only thing in the world and nothing else is around you.
The idea of IMAX was born out of need to create the most realistic, immersive film experience possible. Here, you must enjoy the movie the best that you can and feel all the motion without using special effects like moving chairs etc. There were many things that improved in IMAX over the years, but the most significant innovations were the dome technology, as well as their unique 3D technology. IMAX uses both polarized glasses and LCD shutter technology, which you wouldn’t get in a standard cinema. And it’s all just to make the 3D experience even more intense and realistic. On top of that, you get 48 frames per second, which is now double the standard frame rate, advanced sound system for a better sounding movie and digital remastering, to make the image crystal clear and give the movie an even more realistic vibe.
What is interesting and definitely unique is that IMAX film stock is much larger than the standard 35 mm – in fact, it’s about 10 times larger. It’s called the 15/70 film format and the film size does matter here – it gives every IMAX movie clarity, which you couldn’t experience in a smaller cinema on a much smaller screen! It means that it’s bigger and heavier, requiring a much bigger and heavier projector. In fact, it is said that IMAX projectors can weigh over two tones. We guess that’s the price you have to pay for the best quality in the movie world.