IMAX and the History of Film

An Advertising Feature

You have probably seen signs in your local cinema which advertise IMAX technology and films, but what actually is IMAX?

IMAX cinema has been in development for almost 50 years meaning that it is still relatively young in relation to the larger history of cinema (which dates back to the early 1900’s). However, while many of us have heard of IMAX, relatively few of us are aware of what it actually is and could be missing out on the ultimate cinematic experience because of it.

What is IMAX?

IMAX is a film format which has the capacity to record and display images of a far higher resolution and greater size than conventional systems. The technology has been in development since 1967 where a small group of Canadian film makers and entrepreneurs decided to a design a new film system which used a single, powerful projector as opposed to multiple, weaker projectors during the EXPO ‘67.

What makes an IMAX film Different?

Quite simply, IMAX enhances the visual and auditory effects of the film to offer the ultimate viewing experience. By providing greater image resolution and size along with improved sound quality IMAX improves the standard of normal films by projecting them in the best possible format.

When viewing an IMAX film a custom-designed auditorium is required. This is because the large size of the film picture naturally requires a larger viewing screen. IMAX theatres often boast floor to ceiling screens which enable the film to be enjoyed as it was intended. The auditorium set-up also optimises the film quality and provides a more immersive experience for cinema-goers, making them feel integrated into the film itself as opposed to simply being a voyeuristic observer.

What Variations of IMAX are Available?

IMAX is present in a number of different formats, including the more recently utilised IMAX 3D. This format quite literally provides another dimension to film viewing. The prevalence of commercialised 3D films arguably began after the success of the much anticipated Avatar in 2009 and has continued to thrive since then with more and more films utilising the technology. While the 3D format is available for both standard film quality as well as IMAX, it is only the latter of these which combines the technology with an overall enhanced film quality in order to supply the ultimate experience.

IMAX 3D works by using separate cameras lenses to film the picture for the right and left eye. This means that each eye effectively has its own picture. The lenses are separated by a distance which is equivalent the average space between a human’s eyes and they feed two separate rolls of film. This means that two projections are simultaneously filmed. When they are later projected simultaneously they allow viewers to see a three dimensional image on a two dimensional screen.

Where can I see IMAX films?

IMAX films are available at a number of great locations, including IMAX London, meaning that the ultimate cinema experience is never very far away.