How To Tell a Real from Fake IMAX Theater

Photo courtesy of SlashFilm.

Thought I’d talk about movie theaters in time for winter movies season. Quick heads up: this post is less a how-to and more an FYI on real vs. “fake” IMAX theaters. Also, real vs. fake IMAX has been around for a while, but I think there haven’t been very many specific information/comparisons until now.

You can read the original article from SlashFilm if you’re interested in the more technical details, but basically, there are two types of IMAX theaters out there, priced exactly the same. However, the screen size and even the cameras used are vastly different.

To illustrate my point, check out the pic at the top of the post, comparing a real IMAX screen vs. a Digital IMAX screen. To make matters worse, the IMAX company doesn’t differentiate between the two formats. I think this is one of the biggest scandals to hit consumers in recent history, and it’s a shame the company isn’t more honest.

So how do you tell the two apart? Usually the size and location give it away. If the theater is a normal-sized theater, or if your local theater suddenly added an “IMAX” theater, then it’s probably Digital IMAX. Best bet is to Google up your theater to double check, and it’s usually not hard to find out.

Hope this how-to helps. If IMAX is having moviegoers shell out $20 for an IMAX movie, it had better be the real deal, not some “Digital” equivalent.

Popcorn and soda at

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