The obvious difference in an IMAX theatre is the large screen – it literally spans from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the screen isn’t simply bigger, it’s also shaped differently – not only wider but higher and curved, as well– which creates an immersive experience no matter where you’re seated. The very material of the screen is also different, more reflective and brighter.
Then there’s what we call the theatre geometry, which refers to the shape of the auditorium and how the seats are placed. Most movie auditoriums are long and narrow, to get the most people in, with the screen way off at the far end. The distinctive shape of an IMAX theatre is designed to bring the audience not only closer to the screen, but better-positioned in relation to it. The result is an image that’s wider and higher than your field of view; a picture that’s immersive because you’re not aware of where it ends. And that, in turn, is what gives you the feeling you’re part of the action, out among the stars, not just peeking into a scene.
One final part of the picture is IMAX’s patented Digital Re-mastering process and projection system. Because you’re much closer to the screen the picture has to be that much sharper – even while it’s also bigger than life. And that calls for enhanced content that plays through a custom digital projection system– or actually a set of two – that produces a picture that’s not just sharper from edge to edge but also brighter. And that’s important because your eyes perceive a brighter picture – and a sharper one as well.