28 Nov 2009


What is Imax?

IMAX is the largest and most exciting film format in the world!

Up to eight storeys high, they are ten times larger than a traditional cinema screen and fill the whole field of human vision.

Made of stretched vinyl, coated with a reflective silver paint they are stretched taut over a scaffold frame.

With thousands of small perforations they allow sound from speakers positioned behind the screen to play their key role in the total surround sound system.

Sound is critical to the IMAX experience. The film soundtracks are delivered through a mighty 15,000 watt digital surround sound system.

The screen at Millennium Point, is 22 metres wide by 16 metres high. That is as tall as a five storey building, and as wide as 4 buses nose to tail!

Film Size & Projector

To project such large films IMAX have built the most advanced, high precision and powerful projectors.

IMAX films are shot and projected on 70mm film - the largest film format in the world. It is only possible to project these onto the huge screen because of the remarkable high definition and clarity of these film frames.

And it is these huge film frames that are at the heart of the IMAX experience. Three times larger than the traditional 70 mm cinemascope frames they have pushed the quality of motion picture images to new heights (quite literally).

The key to their superior performance and reliability is the unique 'Rolling Loop' film movement. The Rolling Loop advances the film horizontally in a smooth, wave-like motion. During projection, each frame is positioned on a fixed registration point and the film is held firmly against the rear element of the lens by a vacuum. As a result, the picture and focus steadiness are far above normal standards and provide outstanding image clarity.

The powerful 3D projector uses two 15,000 watt bulbs (the average 35mm projector uses a bulb between 2,000 and 4,000 watts). The huge heat generated requires a dedicated cooling system that pumps 1,600 cubic metres of air and 36 litres of distilled water through the lamp housing every minute to keep the projector cool.

How IMAX 3D Works

IMAX® 3D is state-of-the-art technology to take the 3D film experience in a whole new direction.

3D technology is based on human vision. It mimics the way we see the real world. When you look at an object each eye sees a slightly different view and our brain fuses these together into a single 3D image.

The two lenses on the IMAX® 3D camera roughly match the distance between our eyes and so each lens 'sees' a slightly different view. The images are photographed onto two separate rolls of film - corresponding to a right eye and left eye image - which run simultaneously through the camera.

These two films are then simultaneously projected in the theatre. This is why the picture looks a little fuzzy when viewed without 3D glasses, as you are seeing two pictures at once.

Our glasses contain polarized lenses, which allow just one picture to be seen by each eye, thus tricking the brain into seeing the 3D image.

That afore mentioned is some background information.

Today, I took Punks to see A Christmas Carol 3D at the Imax cinema.

At 1 PM, all shows for today were sold out. ALL. We had to buy tickets for tomorrow’s show.

The cost of an adult 3D ticket is £9 and for a child £7.15. A regular ticket (non - 3D) is £7 adult.


That poster above is about 6 stories high.

I’ll be back tomorrow… and let you readers know how the movie is in 3D Imax.