If you thought watching Jurassic Park in your local theatre was a fantastic experience…you haven’t seen anything yet! Imagine being surrounded by dinosaurs ten times larger than the regular movie-screen dinosaurs. For that is exactly what an IMAX screen will show. The IMAX theatre is all set to give ‘watching films on the big screen’ a whole new meaning.

IMAX the High-Tech Theatre [Illustration by Navin Pangti]
IMAX the High-Tech Theatre [Illustration by Navin Pangti]

IMAX is coined from the word ‘maximum Image’. The images on the giant dome screen enlarges the size of the picture and the impact of sight and sound envelopes the audience, providing an amazing sense of involvement by putting them in the centre of action. So whether it is climbing Mt Everest, or exploring the lush Amazonian rainforest – you will feel that you are part of the action.

The IMAX technology was developed by two Canadian filmmakers way back in 1967. It was first displayed at the Expo 67 exhibition in Montreal. The entire IMAX concept is based on big and best: its cameras, film, projectors and screen.

An Imax film is ten times larger than the standard 35mm format and three times larger than standard 70mm cinema film. This is because the larger the film frame, the more information is on the film and therefore, the clearer the picture. The large frame enables projection on to large screens for better clarity and quality.

IMAX cameras have traveled all over the world – they have been used undersea to take pictures of the Titantic and they have even been to outer space! In fact NASA astronauts even accommodated an IMAX camera in the spacecraft, to film celestial bodies.

The IMAX theatre itself is specially-designed to show these special IMAX films. Regular films cannot be shown in this theatre since special cameras and projectors are required to capture action for the high-tech domed IMAX theatres. Making IMAX films is a very, very expensive proposition, for the camera, alone, costs a whopping Rs 80 million.

The theatre is built so that it gives everyone the “best seat in the house”. Wherever you sit you can feel as if you are at the centre of action unlike in normal theatres.

Currently, there are about 200 IMAX theatres spread over 25 countries. And now the IMAX experience is all set to make its debut in India…in a BIG way. The Canadian company has tied up with an Indian motion picture company to set up the world’s largest IMAX theatre, in Maharashtra.

Wadala, in Mumbai, will be the focus of all attention when the world’s largest eight-storied IMAX dome is set up. The theatre will have a diameter of 30 metres and a seating capacity of 520. Images will be crystal clear and the sound effects will be far, far more effective than the Dolby Surround Sound.

The Wadala dome theatre will be ready by the end of the year and will screen 10 specially made IMAX movies a day.

Initially the Wadala IMAX will screen only foreign IMAX films. Some of the films, that will be screened, include a T-Rex (dinosaur) movie that will have you scurrying for cover, a stunning film on Mount Everest and a spine-tingling shark special…to mention just a few! Walt Disney’s Fantasia 2000 is another movie that is likely to be screened.

Each IMAX film has a running time of about 45 minutes and tickets prices would initially be a bit steep – Rs 150/- per adult and Rs 75/- per child. But then, the price is well worth the IMAX experience.

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Filed under: world news
Tags: #cameras, #sharks, #movies, #films

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