In a bid to extend its brand beyond planetariums and museums and into multiplexes on every street corner, Imax is installing a new digital system in Regal and AMC theaters around the country.
Don’t be deceived: Although marketed under the same name, this is newfangled Imax, different and diminished from the traditional system. Installed in existing auditoriums, the screen is enlarged as much as possible, and the first few rows of seats are removed in order to create a field of vision more dominated by the screen, while the sound systems are souped up to deliver a more intense aural experience.
But the giant screens that were the hallmark of Imax are nowhere to be seen — the new digital screens are typically 28 to 35 feet high, about half the size of their predecessors — provoking protests from the blogosphere to the multiplex.
As it happens, the only time that I’ve seen anything in Imax was for The Dark Knight (mentioned later in the article) during last year’s Republican national convention. We (‘we’ being the RedState blogging contingent, plus a couple of others) had heard that there was an Imax at a local zoo, and we were all, of course, rabid fans of the new Batman franchise – so we all piled into various cars and went to go see it. It was worth the extra money that I spent, although I don’t think that I’d want to shell it out for every movie that comes down the pike.
Probably not smart of Imax to dilute the brand like this.