Are you excited about seeing the first new Star Wars movie in 10 years and the first to continue the storyline into the future with original cast members? If so then you probably want to see the entire movie! Well there is only 1 movie theater in the state of New Jersey that is showing it. But don’t worry, many states have no theaters at all that are doing it.
You see Star Wars : the Force Awakens has footage shot in IMAX and only a real IMAX theater is the right size and shape to show it. I’m not going to get into the technicals of it right here but above is a comparison of a real IMAX screen vs. the digital IMAX screens which started popping up around the same time the movie ‘Avatar’ came out. There is only 1 real IMAX screen in New Jersey and that is the one at the TROPICANA HOTEL & CASINO in ATLANTIC CITY. Technically the Liberty Science Center IMAX screen in Jersey City is real as well but they rarely play feature films there as the dome screen isn’t ideal for watching them.
Any other IMAX screen you go to in NJ such as GARDEN STATE PLAZA in PARAMUS, CLIFTON COMMONS, ROCKAWAY, JERSEY GARDENS in ELIZABETH and so on are all digital or in other words FAKE. Basically any IMAX theater with AMC in front of it. They are the equivalent of the smaller screen in the diagram above. The reason for this is that IMAX wanted to expand their brand but not go through the expense of actually building the full sized screens as that would have been much more difficult to do in existing AMC theaters. But it gets worse.
It’s not just the size of the screen that’s the problem. Its also the shape. As you can see above, the entire IMAX image won’t fit on the smaller and differently shaped digital IMAX screen. As a result part of the image winds up being cut off so that you are no longer seeing the entire picture anymore. Now it’s true that the movie is shot with the most important elements in the middle so as not to cause confusion but how much of the image are you willing to lose: 20%, 30%, 40%? When does that become a problem for you? The simple fact of the matter is that if you see the movie, in this case Star Wars : The Force Awakens, on a real IMAX screen you are seeing the whole thing. Anywhere else you are missing part of the picture. I don’t know about you but I want to see everything!
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