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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

May 20, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Size doesn’t matter, says IMAX. Really?

In light of our discussion earlier this week about the new IMAX screen in town, here’s an item from the Hollywood Reporter today. IMAX executives, speaking at a company presentation, dismissed recent controversy over small IMAX screens, saying it’s an issue that’s been around for six years — ever since the company began offering a less-expensive IMAX format to multiplex theaters. Company reps said that since then, the average IMAX screen is only slightly larger than the average multiplex screen.
Nonetheless, those of us accustomed to the Boeing IMAX theater (which offers the classic IMAX format, rather than the newer digital system known to many as “fake IMAX”) will be dismayed to hear that the IMAX screen at the new Thornton Place multiplex at Northgate is much smaller: 28 feet 6 inches high and 48 feet wide, versus the Boeing IMAX’s “six stories high” (sorry, they don’t provide a number, but I’m guessing that’s about 60 feet?) and 80 feet wide. The Thornton Place screen also uses the new digital format. That’s not to say that the presentation there won’t be a good experience — a reader who went Monday gave it a thumbs-up and said that the screening of “The Dark Knight” looked great — but that moviegoers should have an idea of what they’re getting.
If you’re interested, do read Monday’s discussion thread for lots of info and links on this issue, and remember that tonight is the last $2 movie night at Thornton Creek, for those who want to check out the IMAX screen without paying a premium. (Normally, IMAX tickets there will be $5 more than the non-IMAX ticket price.) Meanwhile, I’m off to “Dance Flick,” a movie which I suspect will never be shown in IMAX. See you later.

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