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The Frisco Enterprise Star is reporting that the AMC Stonebriar 24 in Frisco, Texas will see the debut of a new IMAX screen on Friday, September 18, 2009. Unfortunately, it appears that the new screen will be closer to what some call "LIEMAX" than the super-sized screen that most people associate with the IMAX brand.
The typical IMAX movie theater screen measures 72' wide by 53' high. Wikipedia states that the largest IMAX screen is in Sydney, Australia and measures 117' wide by 96' high. According to a 2003 press release from IMAX, the smaller systems they began installing can have screen sizes up to 70' wide by 44' high.
The Stonebriar's IMAX screen will be 52'x29', which is typical for recent conversions of traditional movie screens to the IMAX format. While this size is large by traditional movie screen standards, it's only 40% of the total screen area of a 72'x53' IMAX screen. The difference can be seen in the graphic to the right. Which would you rather see a movie on?
This significant difference isn't exactly the maximum experience that one might expect when going to a movie with the IMAX label on it. What gets on the nerves of many customers is that IMAX presentations often come with additional fees for that "IMAX Experience" that is promised by the brand name.
This prompted Lita Beck from the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate to write an article titled "Fake" IMAX Coming to Stonebriar Center. Ouch, I can't imagine IMAX nor AMC wants to see headlines like that!
These IMAX conversions with smaller screens seem to be the norm, especially with AMC Theatres locations. If you don't believe that it's worth the extra money to see movies in these smaller IMAX screens, it's up to you to educate yourself about the differences and support the theaters that are showing movies the way you want to see them.
If you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and you're looking for the big screen experience with IMAX movies, it appears that the Cinemark 17 and IMAX Theatre in Dallas has a "real" IMAX screen. We're trying to find out just what size it is, and I'll update this post when we do.
Don't be afraid to let the managers know how you feel (nicely, of course) because the message needs to get back to the decision makers that audiences demand a level of bang for their buck, and right now it seems that they believe you'll pay extra for the smaller screens.
As long as you're letting your voice be heard, be sure to add your comments below so that your opinions about whether 60% less is still worth 100% of the price can be shared with our readers!
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