So you want to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the biggest screen of them all. But is the movie showing in IMAX theaters?
It almost seems silly to ask, but is Star Wars: The Force Awakens showing in IMAX theaters? Let’s see, would theater chain owners like an excuse to charge you $20 per seat instead of $10? Exactly. Of course Star Wars: The Force Awakens is showing in IMAX theaters.
We should quickly talk about what the difference is between an IMAX theater and a regular one, if you’ve never shelled out the extra dough to try IMAX. IMAX theaters show the film in a larger format, 70mm, instead of 35mm, which is what your regular theater displays. A 70mm frame shows 10x bigger, than a 35mm one, and therefore gives the movie goer a much richer visual field and a whole lot more detail. That is why J.J. Abrams himself is encouraging all moviegoers to see the movie in IMAX if they can.
With the increased size of the film projected, that means an increased size of the screen. Now, when it comes to screen size, IMAX theaters come in two flavors: “IMAX” theaters and “IMAX Experience” theaters. The latter, most movie going snobs will insist, isn’t really an IMAX theater. IMAX Experience Screens are 58 ft wide by 28 ft high, which may sound impressive, but are really not much larger than a regular movie theater screen, which averages 52 ft x 22 ft. On the other hand an “original” IMAX screen is 97 ft wide by 76 ft high, a major jump in size. The Pixel Pulse has a useful visual comparison:
Both types of IMAX show the 70mm film. But as you can guess, one is much better equipped to handle the larger size film without having to squish.
Around here in my neck of the woods (the DC area) most AMC theaters are “IMAX Experience” sized, while the real deal IMAX screens are only to be found in stand alone theaters or at the National Air and Space Museums. Make sure, if you are bent on seeing the movie in true IMAX, that you do the googling legwork ahead. Otherwise, you’re better off just seeing it on a regular sized screen, and paying the lesser charge.
Check out the entire Star Wars Force Awakens cast list.