IMAX vs 3D

IMAX is widely hailed as the best way to watch a film. With cutting edge technology, huge screens and amazing films this is the ultimate movie experience. However there are fewer IMAX screens at the moment than your average multiplex. This is where 3D comes into play. The idea is that donning a pair of 3D glasses transports you into the film, deeming 2D as pointless. However does this work? Is IMAX worth it? What method gives you the ultimate trip to the cinema?

IMAX was born at Expo '67 in Montreal when a group of filmakers attempted to create the ultimate cinema by syncing up nine projectors. It worked and the technology was developed and improved over the next three years. It premiered at Expo '70 in Japan. The first permanent IMAX theatre was built in Toronto, Canada and showed a film about the history of the city.

IMAX went public in 1994 and theatres were built in North America with the technology. However, only a handful of producers were making IMAX films. To this problem, they developed DMR or Digital Re-Mastering. This technology made it possible to convert Hollywood blockbusters into IMAX format. IMAX soon grew in popularity and cinemas were built worldwide. Many current films can be viewed in IMAX including The Dark Knight Rises and Total Recall.

The main highlights of IMAX is the sound and the picture. The speakers are placed around the theatre to create a "surround sound" effect. The speakers have a wide frequency response which means you can experience every vibration. A standard screen is 22 × 16.1 but can be larger.

3D began in 1840 and was invented by Charles Wheatstone. It was used to make still images "pop out" at the viewer. The first feature film in 3D was The Power Of Love and was screened in Los Angeles. After a lull in 3D film production, Bwana Devil was released and was hailed as the pioneer of the new age of 3D. In 1953, House of Wax is released, the first 3D film with stereo sound. 

The 80s brings a new wave of 3D films, including Jaws 3D and Friday the 13th Part III. The craze soon dies out. It is not until 2009, when Avatar is released, that 3D rises from the ashes. Some 3D films are genuinely breathtaking. However the format has many problems. Firstly, until the technology moves on, we have to wear a pair of glasses which, aside from making the experience considerably less enjoyable, reduces light saturation by 20%. Another problem is that I and many others suffer from a bad headache after viewing a 3D film. This technique is flawed and will suffer because of that.

Overall, IMAX is the ultimate experience as it offers superb sound and picture and doesn't have as many flaws as 3D.

Thanks for reading!