IMAX will expand into AMC theaters

posted by HowardBHaas on December 10, 2007 at 10:45 am

Imax will expand into 100 AMC theaters, doubling the number of large format 3-D theaters in the US. Imax has struggled, in the red, so this is a huge help. Digital projectors for 3-D cost half a million dollars each….

Imax and AMC Entertainment are teaming up to open 100 Imax theaters, doubling the number of large-format 3-D outlets in the United States and adding momentum to Hollywood’s growing interest in the genre.

The deal involves equipping 100 of AMC’s existing auditoriums with next-generation Imax projection systems, which rely on digital images rather than film and are meant to provide an immersive viewing experience.

Imax will shoulder the expense of the projectors, which cost about $500,000 each. AMC, one of the world’s largest movie theater chains, will pay to retrofit auditoriums in top-performing movie complexes in 33 cities, reconfiguring the seats and enlarging the screens.

Read the full article in the new York Times.

Comments (35)

JodarMovieFan on December 10, 2007 at 12:38 pm

While, I’m with the exhibitors to try and improve the movie going experience, I’m not so sure about retrofitting existing auditoriums for this IMAX 3D format. What makes IMAX special to me and, I’m sure for most others, is the enormous multi-story screen size. I don’t see how retrofitting an existing auditorium, or even combining, say two big ones to make an IMAX auditorium a true IMAX experience.

Now, the new Tysons Corner 16 plex in VA has some enormous screens..maybe it might work but its not the IMAX I know and appreciate on the level of say the Smithsonians.

On the other hand, the idea of large screen exhibition brings back the argument of the return to 70mm. Why not just bring that format back with a next gen high definition sound system?

Giles on December 10, 2007 at 1:38 pm

For the DC area, Audtiorium 4 at Tyson’s seems like the most obvious upgrade – ‘Zathura’ there was amazing in terms of both size and sound. What exactly is the IMAX transformation of these theatres really mean – more speakers? more box like screen – since the DM'R’d films retain their original aspect ratios (1.85 to 2.35). The next Batman film will actually switch between 2.35 and IMAX' full screen size.

CinemarkFan on December 10, 2007 at 1:53 pm

JodarMovieFan, I have this idea that blends 70MM with digital projection. I don’t know how or if it could be done, but what do you think? I’m glad to see that someone else wants 70MM back. I’ve always thought, why should we pay $12.00 to see something blown up in a widescreen format when we could have 70MM and pay $6.00.

I’ve never seen a movie in 70MM though.

willis on December 10, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Does anyone know what cities they’ll go into?

Giles on December 10, 2007 at 2:43 pm

post back here when you’ve seen a 70mm feature …. ;)

here in DC – the AFI Silver has shown a few: Lawrence of Arabia being the favourite

I honestly can’t wait to see how this looks, the systems are definately out of the prototype faze since they’ll debut next Spring/Summer. Since IMAX is 65mm resolution – the imagery for IMAX Digital must be equqlly stunning – it’s 8K, right?

Giles on December 10, 2007 at 2:46 pm

AMC Barrett Commons 24
AMC Southlake Pavilion 24

AMC Columbia Mall 14
AMC Loews White Marsh 16

AMC Loews Boston Common 19

AMC Concord Mills 24

AMC South Barrington 30
AMC Loews Crestwood 18

AMC Newport on the Levee 20

AMC Mesquite 30

AMC Highlands Ranch 24
AMC Orchards 12
AMC Westminister Promenade 24

AMC First Colony 24
AMC Gulf Pointe 30

AMC Orange Park 24
AMC Regency Square 24

AMC BarryWoods 24
AMC Independence Commons 20

AMC Burbank 16
AMC Century City 15
AMC Del Amo 18
AMC Promenade 16
AMC Puente Hills 20
AMC Santa Anita 16

AMC Aventura 24
AMC Sunset Place 24

AMC Elmwood Place 20

AMC Loews 34Th Street 14
AMC Empire 25
AMC Loews Kips Bay 15
AMC Rockaway 16
AMC Loews Stony Brook 17
AMC Loews Monmouth Mall 15

AMC Lynnhaven 18

AMC Altamonte Mall 18

AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24
AMC Hamilton 24
AMC Neshaminy 24

AMC Loews Waterfront 22

AMC Palm Promenade 24

AMC Bay Street 16
AMC Eastridge 15
AMC Mercado 20

AMC Loews Alderwood 16
AMC Southcenter 16

AMC Veterans Expressway 24

AMC Hoffman Center 22
AMC Potomac Mills 18
AMC Tysons Corner 16

moviebuff82 on December 10, 2007 at 2:53 pm

go to amc’s website, mywill. My local theater will get the system sometime by 2008 (rockaway 16).

willis on December 10, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for the list.

JodarMovieFan on December 10, 2007 at 4:01 pm


I’m just glad that this market isn’t overlooked when it comes to the rollout of new movie projection technology. Usually, its LA or NY that gets the new toys, which is understandable given their proximity to the heart of the entertainment business. Though we’ve had IMAX since the Smithsonian’s Air & Space opened in ‘75, its rare they play traditional Hollywood fare.

Back in the mid 80s to early 90s, my friends and I drove into VA to watch 70mm booked movies at the National Amusement multiplexes and they had some good set ups with THX cert-auditoriums. I’d have no problem doing that again for the IMAX presentations if they are that good.

Cinemark Fan,

I’m not sure how you would project 70mm and digital projection, since you’re talking about two different formats. But I hear what you’re saying about getting back to high quality projection. If they built a projector that could handle the older classics, you could see the return of possibly roadshow runs in these venues that could alternate between the usual newer fare and the older films. Newer generations of movie goers will be thrilled at the likes of say the acid-trip light show of 2001’s Stargate corridor sequence, or the aural delight of the helicopter sequence in Apocalypse Now.

On the other hand, there would have to be a foolproof automated process to running such a machine given the fact that there are few projectionists around. I’ll let those who were chime in about that.
With the exception of the Transformer IMAX movie, just about every IMAX movie I’ve seen at the UA/Regal King of Prussia IMAX theater has met with some kind of technical problem where the film was stopped or presentation cancelled.

moviebuff82 on December 10, 2007 at 4:14 pm

amc in rockaway sounds like a good thing since this will bring more traffic to the mall than usual and attendance will surge and this theater will make more money than its competitors, who have to rely on dlp and sloped seating.

quasimodo on December 10, 2007 at 7:38 pm

Hmmm. First of all, I can’t see how IMAX “donating” 100 projectors at $500,000 a pop is going to stop their bleeding.

Second, retrofitting existing auditoriums into IMAX theatres woud seem to negate the differential advantage which made the IMAX a unique movie experience. IMAX theatres were designed from the ground up for IMAX technology. Will moviegoers, who’ve been deluded into thinking that digital cinema somehow justified increasing ticket prices, just see it as another movie on another screen in the local multi? (Was that theatre #6 or #16?)

Third, I beleive that IMAX traditionally utilized a hugh projected image that was essentially 70mm film with the frames oriented sideways such that the height of the image was close to 70mm and the width proportionally greater. This made for a fabulous projected image on a hugh screen and I’m skeptical that the current digital technology can match it. We’ve seen digital, and it ain’t all that.

Last, Is this just another thing that the multi chains will ruin? AMC might be one of the better chains, but the industry continues to scratch it’s head while attendance drops (or remains flat according to NATO) failing to see that the great moviegoing experience has been compromised by poor quality projection and sound, filthy auditoriums and people who no longer know how to enjoy film or make it more enjoyable for others.

moviebuff82 on December 10, 2007 at 7:54 pm

this as sales for high def movies are at an all time high, since they deliver better picture and sound quality on par with 70mm film.

Giles on December 11, 2007 at 9:57 am

actually Justin I’ve seen DLP theatrical presentations that aren’t even up to 35mm standards – High Def doesn’t hold a candle to the best 70mm films I’ve seen (until I’ve seen a true 4K presentation – I might think otherwise)

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on December 11, 2007 at 12:27 pm


quasimodo on December 12, 2007 at 2:44 pm

I wish you were correct, longislandmovies. Attendance spiked slightly in 2006 breaking a 3-year downward trend. Factoring in the weak fouth quarter, 2007 attendance is expected to be less than 2006. Over a five year period, attendance is trending down.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on February 1, 2008 at 2:16 am


Giles on May 1, 2008 at 1:10 pm

the monthly/theatre rollout of IMAX Digital screen in AMC theatres is as follows:


Columbia 14 10300 Patuxent Parkway Columbia MD
Hoffman 22 206 Swamp Fox Road Alexandria VA
Potomac Mills 18 2700 Potomac Mills Circle Woodbridge VA


Cherry Hill 24 2121 Route 38 Cherry Hill NJ
Hamilton 24 325 Sloan Avenue Hamilton NJ
Neshaminy 24 3900 Rockhill Drive Bensalem PA


Empire 25 234 West 42nd Street New York NY
Boston Common 19 175 Tremont Street Boston MA
Veterans 24 9302 Anderson Road Tampa FL
Altamonte Mall 18 433 E Altamonte Drive Altamonte FL
White Marsh 16 8141 Honeygo Blvd. Baltimore MD
Concord Mills 24 8421 Concord Mills Blvd. Concord NC
Orange Park 24 1910 Wells Road Orange Park FL
Regency 24 9451 Regency Square Blvd. Jacksonville FL
Aventura Mall 24 19501 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura FL
Sunset Place 24 5701 Sunset Drive South Miami FL


First Colony 24 3301 Town Centre Blvd. S Sugar Land TX
Gulf Pointe 30 11801 S Sam Houston Pkwy E Houston TX
Kips Bay 15 570 Second Avenue New York NY
Loews 34th Street 14 312 W 34th Street New York NY
Tyson Corner 16 7850 Tysons Corner Center McLean VA
Burbank 16 125 E Palm Avenue Burbank CA
Century City 15 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles CA
Bay Street 16 5614 Shellmound St. Emeryville CA
East Ridge Mall 15 2190 Eastridge Loop San Jose CA
Mercado 20 3111 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara CA

JodarMovieFan on May 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I imagine the July rollouts, in the DC area, will just be in time for the Batman movie. I wonder if the three IMAX screens are all the same size as far as screen and capacity are concerned?

Columbia isn’t a bad venue, but it has a very large teen crowd. The last time I was there, there was a shooting in front of the theater complex, which is a rarity for that area, but still unnerving, nonetheless.

Hoffman is a good venue and right on the Metro line. Since I drive and live across the bridge, its easier for me but parking has been tight given the construction. Perhaps they’ll have enough parking by the time of the IMAX opening. :)

White Marsh was a favorite destination point of mine for moviegoing. When they opened, they were originally Loews Cineplex and all their auditoriums were THX certified. Like Columbia, they have a large teen crowd on weekends and sometimes, if they are in a group, can be disruptive. The last time I was there, we saw 1408 someone let off a stink bomb in the auditorium.

Tysons Corner is the newest AMC venue to open in the DC area. I love their huge wall-to-wall screens though I wish they did a better job with projection and sound. I’m tired of the scratched up presentations, previews and endless pre-show ads.

moviebuff82 on May 26, 2008 at 5:57 pm

when will amc rockaway get imax? im sick of their blurry projection.

bronxbombers on May 28, 2008 at 3:25 am

I hope Rockaway is still on the list and I surely hope it is a giant IMAX type screen (and that the rumours about them stashing it into one of their small screens ?!? is not true! what’s the point then!)

clatalla on July 8, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Has anyone heard any status on the Hoffman and/or Potomac Mills IMAX theaters scheduled to open in July 2008??? (Hoffman 22 206 Swamp Fox Road Alexandria VA & Potomac Mills 18 2700 Potomac Mills Circle Woodbridge VA)

I was assuming that they would open just in time to carry “The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience,” but so far haven’t read or heard any indication that either will open their IMAX theaters in time. Tons of other IMAX venues have already started selling advance tickets for The Dark Knight. However, it doesn’t look like the Hoffman and Potomac Mills theaters are selling advance tix for The Dark Knight specifically in IMAX. Any thoughts?

Giles on July 9, 2008 at 9:36 am

I think the three IMAX screens scheduled for their July openings were screwed by director Christopher Nolan, word is that Nolan wants viewers to be wowed by the clarity and resolution that IMAX 70mm film can deliver, not IMAX ‘digital’ (which would suggest it’s inferior) I would assume Warners wanted ‘The Dark Knight’ to go out 35mm, DLP, IMAX-70mm, and IMAX-Digital – however the latter was scrapped because of Nolan’s request. I don’t know what IMAX has rolled up it’s sleeve in terms of what of suppossed to book on the IMAX digital screens – so far there’s only one movie in August and the next two literally back to back in November.

JodarMovieFan on July 9, 2008 at 10:21 pm

None of the AMC theaters supposedly getting the IMAX Digital treatment in the DC area are booking anything as of today. Maybe this may change by next week, but AMC’s website is not selling advance IMAX tickets at the aforementioned theaters. Maybe they just aren’t technically show ready. As for now, its the Air & Space Museum’s IMAX in Chantilly VA that has it, but many of their shows are already sold out. Better buy now!

The next event movie will probably be the next Mummy installment. Judging by the previews, its quite FX and action laden and should make for some great popcorn entertainment. If AMC opens with that on their IMAX Digital screens, I’ll be content.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on July 22, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Yesterday, July 21, started the conversion of AMC Neshaminy 24’s Auditorium #1 from a 35mm House to a Digital IMAX Theatre. This theatre will seat 505, down from the 617 that it sat in the 35mm days.

moviebuff82 on November 9, 2008 at 11:58 am

January 23, 2009 is the date that the AMC in my town will be having one of its screens converted to the IMAX D format. Probably they’ll show The Day the Earth Stood Still since it will open more than a month before the start date of the new theater.

JodarMovieFan on November 9, 2008 at 5:25 pm

After watching today’s viewing of Madagascar 2, at AMC Columbia 14’s IMAX Digital theater, I may have to soften my previous posts about disliking the format. Granted, the screen size is large but is not true multi-story IMAX large, it is immersive enough when movies fully fill up the screen and the digital projection is decently bright. The audience were comprised mostly of kids and their parents probably because the $9 matinee price is more palatable then the regular $13.50 price. Surrounds were okay but hard to say for sure since I sat in second row. Lacking also is a powerful subwoofer presence that I thought was there when we saw Eagle Eye a few weeks back in the same format. Let’s hope things improve from here on out.

moviebuff82 on November 9, 2008 at 5:40 pm

That is because the screen is 1.43:1 and not 1.85. I was watching Zack and Miri at the AMC and they had scenes in which camera footage was shown in 4:3 style. That is what the IMAX system will look like when it opens at the AMC in Rockaway soon.

moviebuff82 on December 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm

January 23rd is the date that my local AMC theater here in Rockaway will get an IMAX screen, as well as other select theaters.

Giles on December 2, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I complained about this over on AMC Tyson’s theatre listing, but the official opening is still ‘to be determined’. The preposed November opening didn’t happen, it’s not happening for ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ and it’s all generally up in the air… come on AMC either commit or not – this is driving me crazy.

moviebuff82 on December 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I agree. Possibly due to uncertain economic conditions this has delayed the IMAX rollout into AMC’s theaters, as well as other chains who want to install IMAX.

moviebuff82 on December 6, 2008 at 10:09 am

Several AMC IMAX theaters will open on the same day that “The Dark Knight” gets re-released in traditional and IMAX theaters just in time for Oscar balloting; by then I will have seen the movie a second or third time on Blu-Ray for christmas, since that edition has the IMAX scenes intact.

JodarMovieFan on December 14, 2008 at 10:11 pm

My friend and I saw The Day the Earth Stood Still film today. I was more interested in seeing the upcoming (May ‘09) Star Trek film and was not disappointed to see it in the IMAX-lite format (I’m coining it as such as its not true IMAX in its 5 story high screen). The center aisle row seat for me is the best in the house as you can stretch your legs for the show. Unfortunately, you have to deal with late coming patrons and those who need to empty their bladders walking in front of you. The presentation was first rate with the only artifacts being a blur or wavering in the 20th Century Fox logo. Other than that, the DLP presentation was first rate with the usual bright colors, decent contrast with no grain or other detractable flaws.

With regard to my prior post and the free ticket issue, customer service was gracious enough to give me a free unrestricted pass. No questions asked. How is that for customer service? :)

Okay, probably the only negative is the high price of the matinee, which was really full price of $13.50. If I had been able to get up early, I could have gone to the 9:30AM show for only $9. Since it was my friend’s turn to pay for the movie, I didn’t mind ;)

moviebuff82 on May 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Speaking of Star Trek, it was shot on regular 35mm film and blown up to regular IMAX and digital IMAX format. It only played for two weeks, but it drew the attention of the media when a celebrity from a little-watched comedy on TV protested against the company for reducing the size of the IMAX screens for multiplex use. Imax quickly responded to the complaints, and hopefully this issue will settle once the new Transformers movie comes out, which will be one of a few movies to show scenes shot in IMAX (the other being Harry Potter 6). What’s the latest on the AMC in Rockaway…is that getting an IMAX? According to, they mention Rockaway as getting an IMAX on 6/30/2009, but it incorrectly lists it in NY, not in NJ!!! There is only one AMC Rockaway 16, and not in the Rockaway section of Queens.

moviebuff82 on November 15, 2009 at 3:44 pm

AMC is making a huge mistake installing these mini-IMAX screens in some of its popular theaters. At least they still have theaters that have real IMAX screens (i.e., Palisades Center and Lincoln Square) that do really well. As the year closes, more and more AMC theaters that are moderately sized have gotten installations with the IMAX.

moviebuff82 on February 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Well it’s been awhile…but the effort has paid off….since the imax-amc deal, amc has made a profit from the imax and 3d theaters, and will continue to retrofit screens as imax screens. Other chains are doing the same thing. Too bad Clearview can’t do imax because most of their screens are small!!!

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