By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Perhaps the only true IMAX movie theatre is located at the Royal British Columbia Museum at the Inner Harbour. Cineplex Odeon’s Westshore location is second best with its UltraAVX offerings but not a lot of moviegoers from downtown Victoria will want to make the commute out there and back for movies projected in true surround sound or played back at 48 frames per second. But when considering the upgrades done at the museum’s own theatre, perhaps the competition has begun.
Their new screen measures 61′ x 85′ (18.59m x 25.9m) and their new digital projector is now fully capable of playing 3D content. Also included is a 12 channel speaker upgrade. Dolby enthusiasts must be having a field day by now. Thankfully, their 70mm film projecter is not being abandoned, which will make this theatre just one of the few remaining hold-outs in North America for cinema buffs.
The upgrade will be a godsend for regular patrons wondering what their favourite documentaries would like if shown in 3D. And now that this screen can do more than expand past a viewer’s periphery, maybe the sink or swim sensation is not just about being in the picture, but being captured within. That will also include Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, when it releases to regular theatres at the end of the year and hopefully arrive to this IMAX screen at the same time. However, with Hollywood films, National Geographic’s IMAX Theatre only receives them after they have been shown by the ‘regular’ theatres. That might change, if hints of another upgrade are true. To coincide with television’s latest ultra-high definition resolution, a 4K laser digital projection system is in development and that may get installed in this IMAX theatre down the road.
For Hollywood Blockbusters, to see them in this sharper visual format can be very exciting!
The following is a schedule of films currently playing and to come. Otaku no Culture will be tracking these releases as they are announced.
Noah (May 16th to June 5th)
Captain America: Winter Soldier (June 6-26)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dates TBA)
The documentaries currently playing include:
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Great White Shark
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds