What is IMAX: Full Detailed Information About IMAX Theaters, Cameras and Projectors

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With exceptionally large screens with a tall aspect ratio and steep stadium seating, IMAX theatres are distinguished from other movie theatres by their use of proprietary high-resolution cameras, film formats, and film projectors.

IMAX Corporation was formerly known as Multiscreen Corporation, Limited when it was established in September 1967. The co-founders were Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and William C. Shaw, among others. They also worked in Canada, where they devised the first IMAX theatre projection standards in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Technical Aspects of IMAX

IMAX Cameras

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IMAX Camera

A new program called “Filmed in IMAX” will be introduced by IMAX in September 2020, which will certify high-quality digital cameras that will be used to shoot IMAX-format films. It will become easier for filmmakers to develop films that will match the projection requirements of the IMAX gigantic screen cinema as the reach of approved cameras grows in extent and sophistication.

Certified Cameras

Arri Alexa LF (4K camera)
Arri Alexa Mini LF (4K camera)
Panavision Millennium DXL2 (8K camera)
Red Ranger Monstro (8K camera)
Sony’s Venice cameras (6K camera)
Arri Alexa 65 IMAX camera (6.5K camera)

IMAX Theaters

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IMAX® Theatre in Phipps Auditorium

IMAX theatres are classified as “Classic Design” (purpose-built facilities) or “Multiplex Design” (retrofitted auditoriums). The architecture of traditional IMAX theatres differs greatly from that of classic IMAX theatres. Because of the higher quality, the audience may get considerably closer to the screen. Typically, all rows are within one screen height — traditional theatre seating ranges from eight to twelve screen heights. In addition, the rows of chairs are positioned at a sharp inclination so that the audience is immediately facing the screen.

The significant expenses associated with the construction and maintenance of the specialized buildings and projectors indicated that numerous concessions be implemented in the coming years.

Large Screens

The world’s largest IMAX screen is now located in Leonberg, Germany, and measures 44 m 23 m (144.3 ft 75.4 ft). The largest running IMAX screen until 2021 was in Melbourne, Australia, and measured 32 m 23 m (105 ft 75 ft). Until 2016, the world’s largest IMAX screen measured 35.72 m 29.57 m (117.2 ft 97.0 ft) and was located at Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia. The Sydney IMAX restoration, which began in 2016, has an even larger screen, assuring that it will continue to hold the global record for the largest 1.43:1 IMAX screen.

Soundtrack System

IMAX cinemas, like normal theatres, deploy speakers both immediately behind the acoustically transparent screen and surrounding the theatre to produce a “surround sound” illusion. In addition to the centre speaker featured in traditional theatres, IMAX adds a “top center” speaker. This additional channel enables the sound mix engineers to make use of the screen’s increased height.

IMAX Projectors

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Grand Theatre, GT 3D (dual rotor), SR (small rotor), and MPX, built for retrofitting cinemas, are IMAX’s four projector models that employ its 15-perforation, 70 mm film format. In July 2008, the business produced a digital projection system for multiplex cinemas with screens up to 21.3 m wide (70 ft). Except for the GT system, all IMAX projectors can project 3D. GT 3D projectors require two lights and polarised lenses.

Digital Projection

The IMAX digital cinema projection technology, which was launched in 2008, is intended for usage with smaller 1.89:1 aspect ratio screens. The system has two 2K projectors capable of displaying either 2D or 3D content in DCI or IMAX Digital Format (IDF; which in itself is a superset of DCI). IDF originally utilized Christie xenon projectors with a Texas Instruments Digital Light Processing (DLP) engine, but IMAX stated in 2012 that they would be moving to Barco as their principal supplier. The two 2K pictures are overlaid with a half-pixel offset, and the apparent resolution is increased to about 2.9K utilizing super-resolution imaging.

One projector is utilized to display the picture for each eye in 3D presentations, whereas overlaid images are employed in 2D presentations to allow for a brighter 22-foot lambert image. The Digital IMAX projection system incorporates a proprietary IMAX Image Enhancer, which changes the output of the digital media server depending on feedback from cameras and microphones in the auditorium and preserves sub-pixel alignment.

Laser Projection

IMAX began testing a new 4K laser projection technology in April 2012, based on Eastman Kodak patents. It employed two projectors like 3D film and digital systems, but it retained the classic IMAX aspect ratio and allowed films to be presented on screens 36 m (118 ft) wide or greater. This revolutionary Dual 4K laser projector system, branded “IMAX with Laser”, was originally installed in December 2014 at the Cineplex ScotiaBank Theatre in Toronto. The method supports digital projection on the whole 1.43:1 surface of a typical IMAX screen, as well as bigger displays like 1.89:1.

On April 24, 2018, IMAX announced that a new single-unit laser projector system would replace the IMAX Xenon digital projection technology for 1.89:1 screens later that year.

Christopher Nolan

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Christopher Nolan Holding IMAX Camera

Christopher Edward Nolan CBE is a film director, producer, and screenwriter of British-American origin. His films have made over $5 billion worldwide, and he has received 11 Academy Awards from 36 nominations.

In addition to being an advocator for the IMAX 70 mm film format, Christopher Nolan has cooperated with the corporation since the mid-2000s on several projects.

Forbes List of ‘The Biggest IMAX Movies To Look Forward To In 2022’

Uncharted

18 February 2022: Expanded Aspect Ratio

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Filmed In IMAX | 6 May 2022

Top Gun: Maverick

Filmed entirely with IMAX-certified cameras | 27 May 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder

Filmed entirely with IMAX-certified cameras | 8 July 2022

Nope

Select sequences filmed with IMAX 70mm cameras | 22 July 2022

Mission: Impossible 7

Expanded Aspect Ratio | 30 September 2022

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Filmed entirely with IMAX-certified cameras | 11 November 2022

Avatar 2

Expanded Aspect Ratio | 16 December 2022

 

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