Cinemark Theaters launching big screen installations to vie with IMAX

posted by CSWalczak on October 9, 2009 at 7:45 am

Cinemark Theaters has announced that it will install its own proprietary big screen system called Cinemark XD in markets where Regal and AMC do not have exclusive licensing arrangments with IMAX. The screens will be 72 feet wide and Cinemark claims they can be used to show any film, 2-D or 3-D, in digital format.

As with Imax, audiences pay $3 or so more per ticket to see 2-D or 3-D movies using state-of-the-art sound as well as the 72-foot-wide screens.

The plan could boost Cinemark’s prospects in cities where rival chains have exclusive deals with Imax.

“Regal (RGC) and AMC have locked up the majority of available markets in the U.S.,” says Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Eric Wold.

Read the whole article in USA Today.

Comments (12)

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on October 9, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I simply don’t understand what’s going on with the installation of these super-sized screens. The original Imax 70mm process made you feel a part of the image on the screen – very much the way the original 3 panel Cinerama movies “put YOU in the picture.” All of the so-called new giant screen systems such as AMC’s ETX, digital IMAX and Cinemark’s XD screens simply enlarge the standard movie image to ungainly gigantic proportions. It’s like sitting in the front row in a standard auditorium: the picture looks lousy and it’s uncomfortable to watch. Who’s fooling who? It’s simply a money grab by the industry. Real Cinerama, the original Todd-AO, D-150, etc. systems actually shot films with lenses that took in a wide field of view that approximated the field of human vision. These movies had to be seen on huge screens that filled one’s field of vision. I could show my old 8mm home movies on ETX, XD and phony IMAX screens but that sure as hell wouldn’t put me in the picture. It would simply result in an uncomfortable experience and a demand for a refund.

CinemarkFan on October 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm

While I like the idea of large format digital screens, it would be nice if their XD screens had side-masking.

People, this is where large format cinema should be, digital or film
View link

Not this:

rivest266 on October 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm

AMC Yonge and Dundas 24 had tested Enhanced Digital Theatre Experience (ETX) in Toronto starting in May for the new Star Trek movie, beating out the IMAX cinema at Scotiabank Theatre.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on October 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm

JON LIBOT——-I could not disagree more. I own one of those 75 ft screen theaters and the picture is amazing. Sharp like digital with out the projector. This industry was founded on giant screens and in the 80s they went the way of the newspaper. There is one thing I do agree on the picture should only by large in the width . When the height of the screen goes beyond 35 ft the eye can not take the whole picture in.

MPol on October 9, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Why would people want regular movie theatres to look like modern home theatres, and why would the movie/theatre industry want to make them that way?

byrdone on October 11, 2009 at 11:40 am

These so called I-Max screens bear little or no resemblance to real 15 perf, 70 mm pictures. These new multiplex LieMax screens are projected by 2K digital projectors, suitable for 35-40 foot screens at most. Some are done by 2 projectors, this is for additional brightness only as 2K resolution is 2K no matter how many projectors are used. Compared to 15 perf. 70mm they are soft and not as bright, and certainly lack the spectacle of a full sized IMax screen. longislandmovies, you have apparently not seen a real, huge screen, IMax picture. I’ve seen both LieMax and IMax, don’t waste your extra money on multiplex IMax.

danpetitpas on October 11, 2009 at 11:22 pm

I like this idea. Cinemark sees an opportunity and is going for it. I’m not exactly supporting the idea of paying an extra $3 to see a movie on a wider screen. Nearby Showcase Cinemas in Randolph has a couple of 60-foot screens and I wouldn’t want to pay anything extra for that. The old idea use to be that you could make more money by servicing more people at one time rather than charging extra.

But I’m in favor of anything that fights this current trend of making shoebox cinemas with small screens and soft sound volume. And I can see the justification for paying extra for a really good sound system and some sound insulation, as well as the extra real estate.

With IMAX cheapening its own experience, and simply blowing up 35mm Hollywood films to show in its theaters, Cinemark can provide almost the exact same experience. So I say go for it, Cinemark!

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 13, 2009 at 10:57 am

72 feet wide – at 1:85 fixed length ratio. Which means that 2:35 flicks will probably have that letterbox feel to ‘em. I’ll pass.

CinemarkFan: The Arclight auditoriums (the Cinerama Dome an exception) run digital or 35MM. No 70MM or higher.

KramSacul on October 13, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Are those speakers under the screen instead of directly behind? Big fail there.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on October 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm

OUR SPEAKERS ARE BEHIND THE SCREEN AND 2 LARGE REAR CORNER SURROUND SPEAKERS HANGE. We run a 7,000 watt bulb for our screen .75 X35 with anti freeze coolant for the trap.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on October 13, 2009 at 9:51 pm

mini max or lie max (i like that name) is a joke and the palls to charge $15.00 for 3d

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