Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Is It Real IMAX -- or Not?

Is It Real IMAX -- or Not?

By Dennis D. McDonald

When I saw FIRST MAN I saw it in Alexandria Virginia at a nearby 22-theater multiplex in one of its larger theaters. The clarity and sound were terrific which contributed greatly to my enjoyment of the film, right from the initial hair-raising X-15 flight.

Every time I see a film in this particular IMAX theater, though, I have the nagging suspicion that this is not "real" IMAX. If you search the web you'll quickly find discussions of real IMAX vs Digital IMAX (sometimes called "LieMAX") and the technical distinctions between the two. I won't get into such distinctions here but it does appear that theaters are deliberately not telling customers which IMAX they have.

I'm bringing this up since last week with visiting friends we went to the IMAX theater at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy aerospace museum near Dulles Airport in Virginia and saw the documentary AIRCRAFT CARRIER on what is said to be the largest IMAX theater in Virginia. It's huge and is what I usually think of when I read the word "IMAX". The 3D was nothing to write home about but the images -- both filmed and CGI -- were stunning as well as the sound.

Bottom line: There is simply no comparison between the two types of IMAX when a modern film is being shown. Theaters that do not explain what they are offering are being deceptive.

Copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald

Bruno Forzani and Hélène Cattet's LET THE CORPSES TAN

Bruno Forzani and Hélène Cattet's LET THE CORPSES TAN

Toshimasa Kuroyanagi's THE GREAT PASSAGE

Toshimasa Kuroyanagi's THE GREAT PASSAGE