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An Imax ripoff?

05.12.2009

There's a pretty serious issue going on with Imax theaters and it's been brought to the public's attention by none other than actor/comedian Aziz Ansari. The star of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" and this summer's FUNNY PEOPLE went to go see STAR TREK in Imax but was a little pissed when he realized the screen he was watching, which he paid an extra $5 to watch, was barely larger than an average screen. To wit:

What you're getting is a slightly larger, digital screen with some quality sound but certainly not the Imax screen that we're accustomed to. As Ansari found out, Imax is pimping its name out to Regal and AMC theaters that meet specific criteria. Imax CEO Richard Gelfond says they don't think of Imax as the giant screen, they think of it as an experience. Well the problem is that everyone else on the fucking planet thinks of it as a giant screen.

While it might be easy to blame AMC or Regal theaters and complain to their managers, it's hardly their fault. They, in fact, wanted these new screens branded as "Imax Digital" to differentiate them from the 70mm screens. Imax said no and insisted they all be referred to as Imax.

You can find out more about this issue here and how to inform yourself not to be duped out of $5 for something that is clearly not Imax. You can also read about Ansari's experiences here and what happened when he demanded his $5 back (hint: he didn't get it).

Extra Tidbit: Of course you could always try reaching Mr. Gelfond himself - 212-821-0188 or on e-mail at rgelfond@imax.com - to voice your concerns.
Source: Aziz Ansari

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2:18AM on 05/14/2009

Just a story to create for Aziz

This guy is in Hollywood and is supposed to be a hipster, so he knows the difference between the original IMAX and AMC. When you think of IMAX, AMC doesn't come to my mind. An IMAX theater does. Believe you and me, he's knows the difference. And why didn't he leave when he relaized it wasn't IMAX full on ? He waited all the way till the end to ask for his money back ? I'm not that naive. Look though, he created a story and people are putting it up on the web. Silly people, tricks are for kids.
This guy is in Hollywood and is supposed to be a hipster, so he knows the difference between the original IMAX and AMC. When you think of IMAX, AMC doesn't come to my mind. An IMAX theater does. Believe you and me, he's knows the difference. And why didn't he leave when he relaized it wasn't IMAX full on ? He waited all the way till the end to ask for his money back ? I'm not that naive. Look though, he created a story and people are putting it up on the web. Silly people, tricks are for kids. I can just see him with his cutting edge hipper than hip fellow comics, Aziz laughing " They bought that story " !
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4:44PM on 05/13/2009
yea, I saw Star Trek in the new IMAX at my local theater, but they DID advertise it as Digital IMAX. It was a bigger screen than normal but not huge. It was like watching a Blu-ray movie on a giant HDTV. Its not worth the extra money, thats for sure. The new seats were really comfortable though.
yea, I saw Star Trek in the new IMAX at my local theater, but they DID advertise it as Digital IMAX. It was a bigger screen than normal but not huge. It was like watching a Blu-ray movie on a giant HDTV. Its not worth the extra money, thats for sure. The new seats were really comfortable though.
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10:19AM on 05/13/2009
Was planning to see Revenge of the Fallen on IMAX. Now, I don't know if I will see it on Imax. I guess I just have to watch it on regular screen.
Was planning to see Revenge of the Fallen on IMAX. Now, I don't know if I will see it on Imax. I guess I just have to watch it on regular screen.
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1:16AM on 05/13/2009
That's pretty terrible.

I'm lucky that 2 of the IMAX Theaters near me are owned by the Smithsonian. The one in DC is actually true IMAx. I know since I saw The Dark Knight at that very Smithsonian IMAX during it's re-release.

The other one is owned by Smithsonian too so that should be true IMAX as well. The last one is owned by Regal...and I'm not so sure now wether to make the effort and possibly be disappointed. The whole "Digital IMAX" thing needs to be cleared up because if it's not,
That's pretty terrible.

I'm lucky that 2 of the IMAX Theaters near me are owned by the Smithsonian. The one in DC is actually true IMAx. I know since I saw The Dark Knight at that very Smithsonian IMAX during it's re-release.

The other one is owned by Smithsonian too so that should be true IMAX as well. The last one is owned by Regal...and I'm not so sure now wether to make the effort and possibly be disappointed. The whole "Digital IMAX" thing needs to be cleared up because if it's not, the IMAX brand is really going to hurt their brand name.
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9:50PM on 05/12/2009

good call joblo!

The only IMAX theater I go to is the one at The Franklin Institue, the Tuttleman Theater. Its a massive dome style imax screen, and its about 70 feet wide and about 4 1/2 stories tall. Only bad thing is that its one of the oldest imax theaters ever built and its dome style makes any movies not filmed using imax cameras look a bit stretched out no matter how well they try to enhance it, and the screen was built with what appears to be tiles. but for imax movies (the 40min educational kind) that
The only IMAX theater I go to is the one at The Franklin Institue, the Tuttleman Theater. Its a massive dome style imax screen, and its about 70 feet wide and about 4 1/2 stories tall. Only bad thing is that its one of the oldest imax theaters ever built and its dome style makes any movies not filmed using imax cameras look a bit stretched out no matter how well they try to enhance it, and the screen was built with what appears to be tiles. but for imax movies (the 40min educational kind) that are filmed using IMAX cameras (like the dark knight used) it is absolutely stunning and it takes up your entire peripheral, which is pretty intense. These other tiny "empire" size imax theaters really fucked up the name and there are so many people out there paying extra dough for it and leaving not knowing why. its wrong and its totally screwing up the reputation of what is really an amazing movie-going experience.
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9:18PM on 05/12/2009
I saw 300 in "Imax" and the screen was tiny as shit and looked terrible..may not have even been digital. Then I saw 300 again on a fuckin huge digital screen (non-Imax) and it looked incredible. Fuck Imax.
I saw 300 in "Imax" and the screen was tiny as shit and looked terrible..may not have even been digital. Then I saw 300 again on a fuckin huge digital screen (non-Imax) and it looked incredible. Fuck Imax.
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8:39PM on 05/12/2009
the idea of imax is to be surrounded by both the film and sound and to feel projected into the movie. typical cheap ass account executives sitting around a table trying coming up with ideas in which to milk the public for every penny.
the idea of imax is to be surrounded by both the film and sound and to feel projected into the movie. typical cheap ass account executives sitting around a table trying coming up with ideas in which to milk the public for every penny.
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7:48PM on 05/12/2009
One of the AMC IMAX screens in KC is definitely not a true IMAX screen. It was the first and last IMAX movie I will see here. It was basically a slightly larger screen with very loud sound. I saw the Watchmen on it.
One of the AMC IMAX screens in KC is definitely not a true IMAX screen. It was the first and last IMAX movie I will see here. It was basically a slightly larger screen with very loud sound. I saw the Watchmen on it.
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7:18PM on 05/12/2009
hu? cinemascope isn't possible on an imax screen anyway... thank god they're not shown "full sized" because then it would look awful (like any 4:3 program)
hu? cinemascope isn't possible on an imax screen anyway... thank god they're not shown "full sized" because then it would look awful (like any 4:3 program)
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6:48PM on 05/12/2009

meh

I, for one, could not give two shits about IMAX screenings. I am more than happy with regular old movie screens, which, to me, are plenty fucking huge.

Godspeed.
I, for one, could not give two shits about IMAX screenings. I am more than happy with regular old movie screens, which, to me, are plenty fucking huge.

Godspeed.
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6:47PM on 05/12/2009
The first time I went to Imax was The Dark Knight last summer and it was 2 hours away at a beach aquarium. The audience was pushed real close to the screen, which was gigantic.

Recently a Regal Imax just opened 20 minutes from my house and it's no where near as big as the one I went to for TDK. Still better than normal, but not as great.
The first time I went to Imax was The Dark Knight last summer and it was 2 hours away at a beach aquarium. The audience was pushed real close to the screen, which was gigantic.

Recently a Regal Imax just opened 20 minutes from my house and it's no where near as big as the one I went to for TDK. Still better than normal, but not as great.
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5:26PM on 05/12/2009

DAMN STRAIGHT

Yeah, I went to Dark Knight on opening night in Knoxville and it was one of those slightly larger than regular screens, and the film even went off the left side of the screen. I was so pissed, especially since their is a full sized imax back in nashville.

I don't care what this asshole thinks is the Imax experience but the slighty larger screen didn't do anything for the scenes filmed for Imax that I was so excited about.
Yeah, I went to Dark Knight on opening night in Knoxville and it was one of those slightly larger than regular screens, and the film even went off the left side of the screen. I was so pissed, especially since their is a full sized imax back in nashville.

I don't care what this asshole thinks is the Imax experience but the slighty larger screen didn't do anything for the scenes filmed for Imax that I was so excited about.
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5:07PM on 05/12/2009

Read the actual blog comments

People on his blog site are actually defending IMAX, like they work there. Its a total scam by IMAX to squeeze every penny out of the movie goer. It's like getting the Performance service plan at Best Buy....
People on his blog site are actually defending IMAX, like they work there. Its a total scam by IMAX to squeeze every penny out of the movie goer. It's like getting the Performance service plan at Best Buy....
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4:42PM on 05/12/2009

IMAX Long Island NY

i went to see DARK KNIGHT in IMAX on long island, and it was a fucking planetarium....
i Demanded my money back. i felt like i was going to throw up watching a movie stretched over a circular screen...
it wasn't a real IMAX. was a RIPOFF
i went to see DARK KNIGHT in IMAX on long island, and it was a fucking planetarium....
i Demanded my money back. i felt like i was going to throw up watching a movie stretched over a circular screen...
it wasn't a real IMAX. was a RIPOFF
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4:07PM on 05/12/2009
Charging people for an entire hamburger and only giving them a quarter of one is simply dishonest. Period. Yes, the burger may have the best ketchup and mustard in the world on it, but it's still only a quarter of the burger for full price.
Charging people for an entire hamburger and only giving them a quarter of one is simply dishonest. Period. Yes, the burger may have the best ketchup and mustard in the world on it, but it's still only a quarter of the burger for full price.
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3:59PM on 05/12/2009
THANK YOU. I've been to both sized theaters and the regal by my house (the closest imax to me) is a JOKE compared to a real imax.

THANK YOU. I've been to both sized theaters and the regal by my house (the closest imax to me) is a JOKE compared to a real imax.

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3:30PM on 05/12/2009

Thanks Jo Blo

And thanks Ansari, for bringing this matter to public attention.

It's not IMAC, it's IMAX Digital on a smaller screen. They should specify the difference.

Wait until Anderson Cooper hears about this!
And thanks Ansari, for bringing this matter to public attention.

It's not IMAC, it's IMAX Digital on a smaller screen. They should specify the difference.

Wait until Anderson Cooper hears about this!
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3:12PM on 05/12/2009
I completely agree Thorpe. They're basically charging you 5 dollars more for the name. When I go to IMAX, I go for the giant screen, thats what I expect to pay for. When I noticed that our local AMC had installed an IMAX screen, I expected it was supposed to be the giant screen. Now that I've read this, that theater better be lucky I didn't pay for that or they would have ended up fire bombed.
I completely agree Thorpe. They're basically charging you 5 dollars more for the name. When I go to IMAX, I go for the giant screen, thats what I expect to pay for. When I noticed that our local AMC had installed an IMAX screen, I expected it was supposed to be the giant screen. Now that I've read this, that theater better be lucky I didn't pay for that or they would have ended up fire bombed.
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2:24PM on 05/12/2009

Mr. Gelfond...

clearly has no idea what the brand IMAX stands for. You don't see other exclusive brands such as Rolex or Omega Watches whoring their names out to the local Wal-Mart. "Everyone else on the fucking planet thinks of it as a giant screen" is exactly it. If a venue can't build a 76ft screen, then no IMAX. End of.
clearly has no idea what the brand IMAX stands for. You don't see other exclusive brands such as Rolex or Omega Watches whoring their names out to the local Wal-Mart. "Everyone else on the fucking planet thinks of it as a giant screen" is exactly it. If a venue can't build a 76ft screen, then no IMAX. End of.
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1:47PM on 05/12/2009

Re: Advancedrebel

Advanced... just so you know... I'll certainly agree $17 is a lot to see a movie. But Banque-Scotia Montreal is a true IMAX screen (76x97 ft) and it still uses old school film not digital. So while it's pricey and least it's real.
Advanced... just so you know... I'll certainly agree $17 is a lot to see a movie. But Banque-Scotia Montreal is a true IMAX screen (76x97 ft) and it still uses old school film not digital. So while it's pricey and least it's real.
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1:47PM on 05/12/2009
is there a list somewhere that has the theaters with the smaller screens listed?
is there a list somewhere that has the theaters with the smaller screens listed?
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1:38PM on 05/12/2009

16,99!!

Is the amount I was supposed to pay for a showing of ST in the Banque-scottia theater in Montreal. Too rich for my blood.

2 persons @ 16,99$ + an over-priced pop-corn/softdrink comb @ 12,00. you get a 45,98 price tag! For that price I could buy 2 brand-new dvd's!
Is the amount I was supposed to pay for a showing of ST in the Banque-scottia theater in Montreal. Too rich for my blood.

2 persons @ 16,99$ + an over-priced pop-corn/softdrink comb @ 12,00. you get a 45,98 price tag! For that price I could buy 2 brand-new dvd's!
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1:35PM on 05/12/2009

this has been going on for YEARS

Ive noticed this for years, but didnt think about there being an imax standards and practices, so to speak... and its probably been the reason I have been so uninterested in making any effort to see the recent releases in IMAX --

-- Do you think they realize they are ruining their own good name? ... Not to mention that these days, when the "experience" is the only reason to go to the theatre anymore, this sort of thing is incredibly detrimental.

P.S. Parks and recreation needs more
Ive noticed this for years, but didnt think about there being an imax standards and practices, so to speak... and its probably been the reason I have been so uninterested in making any effort to see the recent releases in IMAX --

-- Do you think they realize they are ruining their own good name? ... Not to mention that these days, when the "experience" is the only reason to go to the theatre anymore, this sort of thing is incredibly detrimental.

P.S. Parks and recreation needs more characters -- as much as I like poehler (and aziz), they need a jim and a pam, and other less important people like dwight, angela,etc. who have their own lives and side stories ... Amy Poehler cant be them all, simply rolled into one....
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1:29PM on 05/12/2009

Finally

Finally, this info is coming to light. I've been complaining about this for years. My local Regal has a few DLP setups for the blockbusters and this is as good an "experience" as the "Imax" that's a 45 minute drive. Imax has always played with the numbers and the screen size wasn't standard before they got into regular movies. You could travel around the country and just go to the museum/documentary Imax theaters and get weird sizes too. Imax is a brand. It's no different than going into
Finally, this info is coming to light. I've been complaining about this for years. My local Regal has a few DLP setups for the blockbusters and this is as good an "experience" as the "Imax" that's a 45 minute drive. Imax has always played with the numbers and the screen size wasn't standard before they got into regular movies. You could travel around the country and just go to the museum/documentary Imax theaters and get weird sizes too. Imax is a brand. It's no different than going into a Regal or an AMC and not knowing what screen size you're going to get depending on if you're in Screen 3 or Screen 8.
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1:20PM on 05/12/2009

my experience with an imax

I went to see Spider-man 3 in imax in Calgary, and I swear the screen was just that size.. I expected like a drive-in size screen, and I got a screen which by all acounts looked like a normal screen, maybe a tad bigger...


Now I know I wasn't just expecting too much. They really ripped me off.
I went to see Spider-man 3 in imax in Calgary, and I swear the screen was just that size.. I expected like a drive-in size screen, and I got a screen which by all acounts looked like a normal screen, maybe a tad bigger...


Now I know I wasn't just expecting too much. They really ripped me off.
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