Controversy about whether new screens meet IMAX expectations

posted by HowardBHaas on May 29, 2009 at 7:39 am

IMAX is responding to the outrage that erupted a few weeks ago when customers complained about specific screens being falsely advertised as IMAX.

“To some degree this is a product of our success,” Gelfond tells Variety, “because as we attract more customers that other 2% is more and more people.

“We are going to do something (about the complaints). We hear the people.”

But as yet he isn’t sure what. He says they’re not yet sure what portion of their customers are actually unhappy. They’re planning a further customer survey and will decide what to do after they see the results.

Read the full story at Variety.

Comments (12)

longislandmovies on May 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

That is the biggest PR stunt as they try to save the brand. They have ruined what made them.GIANT SCREEEN so the could go digital….

markp on May 30, 2009 at 6:38 am

They didn’t follow that old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I ran IMAX back in ‘04 and'05. THAT was IMAX, 15/70, Giant screen. But they wanted mini-max, or diet-max or imax-lite, or whatever you want to call it, so there. I don’t feel sorry for them. I’ve saiod before, this whole digital thing is just a passing fancy. You’re never going to completely knock out 35MM, and what they had with 15/70MM was just awesome. To me, now its like watching a movie on the big screen, then buy the DVD. With this new IMAX, its already the DVD. The damage is done, as far as I’m concerned.

John Fink
John Fink on May 30, 2009 at 8:48 am

This is an awful idea, period.

I blame Regal and AMC, even more when I hear about new complexes opening with digital IMAX retrofits. IMAX should never be an afterthought during construction – it should be the star attraction in the theater instead of just another theater like all the rest. They should look to Lincoln Square for inspiration – they built a giant IMAX on the top level of a well themed but pretty much standard multiplex. But this nothing new, I knew about this scam when National Amusements opened the IMAX retrofit at Buckland Hills – the only thing worth seeing in that tiny theater was 3-D presentations, anything else was pretty much a waste of money.

Not to mention the new multiplex set-up doesn’t account for the true IMAX frame the way that the existing theaters (some built by the IMAX corporation themselves) do. Even the small true IMAX screens (like the Tropicana in Atlantic City) outshine even the largest retrofit I’ve seen. I saw Star Trek in digital – in short, the sound was great but the picture sucked, it looked lifeless as a lot of 2K digital does.

moviebuff82 on May 30, 2009 at 9:35 am

I agree. 2k is not as popular as 35mm film or IMAX for that matter…I can’t wait for 4k projection at my local AMC theater so I can see higher than HD picture and sound.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on May 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

We’ve had 4K Sony projectors in all of the auditoriums at my local AMC complex in Toronto for about a year now. The projection and sound are spectacular, often rivaling the long gone 70mm blowup presentations. The screens are huge and the pictures are definitely sharper than at the so-called Imax 2K digital installations. How these theatres have the nerve to actually charge a higher admission price for this hoax is astonishing. The Imax corporation and the cinemas involved in this scam should be charged for false advertising.

longislandmovies on May 30, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Imax will be gone within 10 years max is my guess……They are now what every one has or will have shortly…..

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 1, 2009 at 9:16 am

I agree with the outrage. When they installed “Imax” at the AMC Empire 42nd Street, I thought they’d raise the roof or build it on one of their many balconies. But, no, they just put a slightly bigger screen in one of their original auditoriums. (#1 I think.) Same with Regal Sheepshead Bay. I peeked in one day and the movie they were showing (at a premium price) didn’t even fill the screen.

Giles on June 1, 2009 at 11:53 am

I’m VERY mad, I’ve written them two letter (via the mail) regarding this. The relunctance and slowness of converting one of the screens at the promised Tysons Corner multiplex is beyond unacceptable. They could easily save face by converting auditorium #3 that is large enough to be IMAX worthy – I got a letter from one of the managers over at Tysons that I’ve been meaning to call and talk to regarding this, but AMC in my opinion has nothing been hypocrites.

Giles on June 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

and so far, AMC has lost my money twice now since I went over to both Smithsonian IMAX screesn to see ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian’ on the LARGE screens and not over to Hoffman in Alexandria Virginia

Roloff on June 3, 2009 at 2:21 am

When IMAX unveiled their mystic D-Cinema plan at Cinema Expo last year, I was baffled. All their masterplan consisted of was retrofitting existing screens, by removing the first two rows of seats and then putting in the biggest screen possible, slightly tilting it forward. The booth would hold two new IMAX 2K projectors, although other projectors could also be used. There was not mention of why the projectors were only 2K, and my guess was they needed two for the light output.

See more on the blog which also holds a Google Map that shows proper IMAX theaters and the newer tiny retrofitted ones. Time for me to submit the one here in Amsterdam.

Roloff on June 4, 2009 at 1:41 am

A bit off topic, but here’s an article by Greg Foster, IMAX’s President of Filmed Entertainment. He talks about IMAX 3-D and Digital 3-D
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I pretty much quit going to the movies unless its 007 or Clint.So I really don’t care,but as I said on a site somewhere when the Regal 20 in my town added IMAX a lot of moviegoers here said it wasn’t IMAX so it must be popping up everywhere.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment