Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gelfond is getting it together, apparently.

IMAX May Tell Moviegoers Dimensions Of Screens

26 May 2009 2:49 AM, PDT | From Studio Briefing | See recent Studio Briefing news

Responding to the recent flap over the smaller size of IMAX screens in new locations, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond says that he has asked a Hollywood market-research firm to determine how serious an issue the matter is. In an interview with Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein, Gelfond says that he expects the study to determine, "Is it just a few bloggers or is there really a bigger adverse audience reaction?" Asked by Goldstein why the company doesn't simply put up a sign outside IMAX theaters specifying the size of the screen, Gelfond responded, "We're thinking about doing that kind of thing," then said more emphatically later, "We're going to do something about disclosing information. Period. The market-research survey is really just to help figure out what to do, not if we should do something."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So here's the deal on maintenance.

The wife is three weeks away from dropping that baby, and I've got a load of stuff going on in housework, meaning both the house and the lady need attention. What I plan to do is spend an hour on Sundays working on updates to the map and the blog, with map updates coming in the form of resolving disputes, and blog updates coming in the form of email feedback.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

I've completed the first pass of the U.S.

If you've emailed me about a missing location or a location that needed correcting, please check the map now. I still need to put that states in order on the left toolbar, so actually zoom in on the map to find the location for now. Also, if you scroll to the bottom of the left toolbar, you'll see that there is a second page of listings. Check there, also. I will clean the toolbar up and make this thing more usable some time before morning.

If you email me about a correction, please be as specific as possible about why it needs to be fixed. Telling me I've labeled incorrectly isn't enough.

More soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

N-R states listed. Sure, it's not perfect.

After I've finished doing a first pass, I'm gonna start really digging into these emails to fix the flaws. Using this list that was passed to me proved to be much faster than going through the emails, but trust me, your emails count. After I hit the bottom of this list, any listed theater that has a contradicting email will necessitate research to get to the bottom of the discrepancy. As I've told a few people, it's not a full-proof way of telling you what you're getting when you go to a theater advertised as "IMAX", but that's IMAX's job, not mine. If IMAX were on top of things and truly paying attention to their customers and marketing to them properly, this map wouldn't be necessary. Hopefully soon enough this map will become irrelevant. I'm just trying to fill in the gaps and save some folks a drive to something they think is one thing but is something totally different.

Just to be clear, I still love IMAX. I want IMAX to succeed. I just want them to succeed on honest terms, and I want to know when I tell someone they should go to their local IMAX exactly what it is I'm suggesting to them.

Here is the most current map. I expect to have the first pass of the U.S. done by Sunday night. Thanks so much for the support, guys. I really didn't expect this many views.

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

If you are interested in the actual specs of IMAX

and large format films in general, you should really check out LF Examiner. That link is a list of large format and IMAX Digital screens in the U.S., and is not nearly as simplified or black-n-white as my juvenile "real" and "fake" designations. If you need more than "giant=real, not giant=fake" in your explanations, THAT is the spot. They will certainly be my go-to place for checking out better info in the future.

Welp, back to mapping.

All the "M" states are done.

Probably won't get any more done until about 9PM tonight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An email I would like to share:

Joe sends this:

To whom it may concern,
I spoke with an ex engineer for storey cinemas today, and i wanted to share with you some of the information given to me regarding your website. remember, this is just a conversation between two people, and i have no malice towards you. "Well, dude COULDA gone to the IMAX website and found all this data" "they have to be certified and IMAX has that data" "Kennesaw is real...its on their site" "do me a favor and THRASH THIS GUY for this crap before he gets SUED!!!" just thought i would share. again, i have no malice towards you but i would be more careful about the information presented on your site, and would possibly look into things further than it seems you have.

To which I responded:

Dear Joe,
Thanks for passing that on. I do indicate on my site what "real" and "fake" mean, and that they mean giant screen or slightly larger than regular screen. This is explicit. I can not find anything anywhere easily accessible on any IMAX website that differentiates between these two very different experiences. If you or your friend could link me to an official IMAX site that makes this distinction clearly, along with a list of which theaters are which, that would go a long way towards fixing this confusion. That's exactly what it is: confusion. This is not the fault of the consumer, this is the fault of IMAX, who have refused to make the distinction for the average person, so now the consumers are making it for themselves.

IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA all mapped!

CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID all mapped!

Getting there, folks. Thanks for bearing with me.

Got a new email address for everyone

please use for emails abotu LIEMAX-related issues. My personal inbox is flooded!

AL, AR, AZ, and CA are mapped.

I'm using a list as my default source now, and user feedback to dispute, correct, and fill in gaps. Keep sending me your stories and I will start some posts with those. The list I'm using is in alphabetical order by state, so I will probably get to your state soon. Sorry, West Virginia, you're gonna have to wait.

Anyone know somewhere I could go to in Cali and NOT see a theater?

Let's get a bit more specific.

(after reading this and checking the map, if you have any corrections or new locations, email me at
I've been shown that different people have different ideas as to what "real IMAX" means. Many people are only referring to domed screens as "real", which is something I hadn't considered at all, and may make my map VERY confusing. So here is a general guide:

IMAX are ruining their brand and deceiving their advocates. For those that want to know, here is a map of known "real/fake" IMAX screens, based on screen size and aspect ratio.

A green marker indicates a "real" IMAX screen, meaning a screen that is totally immersive and fills your field of vision. A red exclamation mark indicates a "fake" IMAX screen, meaning a screen that is branded "IMAX" the same as giant screens, but is not that much larger than regular movie screens, and does not fill your field of vision. OMNIMAX or "domed" screens are indicated by a purple orb shape.

Soon I will get a lot more definitive technical...when I understand what the hell I'm talking about! I've had a a few extremely knowledgeable folks hit my inbox and correct some of the flaws in the ideas and execution of the map, and I want to fix those. Sure would be nice if the people in charge would do that for us, but in the meantime, it may be a bit imperfect. I've got a list here that I'm about to start filling in locations from, so check the map and see if the guidelines of "real" and "fake" match your own. If not, hit me up via email.

Thanks, everyone.

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time for sleep now.

Got about 50 more entries entered, in addition to adding new names to already existing entries. Thanks so much for the input, guys. Also have gotten some emails with horror stories that may go up, and also very specific and technical info from a couple of sources that I need to learn more about. If you have more to add, hit me up at Please make sure your location isn't already listed!

Tomorrow I will try and get some specifics up on how to classify your local IMAX as "real" or "fake", and decide on an icon for the domed auditoriums.

Seriously, thanks guys. Nice to see there are people this passionate about IMAX. In the circle of friends I run in, it feels like it's just me sometimes.

Here's the newest map.

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

Back from a day with the wife,

drinking and mapping. Should have a LOT done tonight. Couple hundred emails to go through. LET'S DO THIS!

The first correction! YAY!

Phillip Rowe, who runs the theater at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, sent me an email explaining their theater's situation. He was extra cool about the needed correction, and very specific and clear in his explanation. Hope he doesn't mind me putting some of his email in here: (I did edit it a bit)

Visited your blog after reading about it on AICN – and I enjoyed the map. I did want to mention that Pacific Science Center in Seattle has two IMAX theaters and your designation as “fake” is incorrect. There are two IMAX screens at the museum – the Boeing IMAX Theater is indeed a giant IMAX theater with a screen that measures 60 feet tall and 80 feet wide. We have an honest-to-god 15perf/70mm 3D film projector in our booth, and we are most definitely real. The Boeing IMAX plays the Hollywood blockbusters and the regular documentary-style films.

We do have a second screen here at the museum that’s 35’ tall and 60’ feet wide, but we don’t show commercial films in that theater. It was retrofitted by IMAX in 1978 and is only used for nature documentaries during the day, so it’s not part of this new wave of smaller screens and admission to that theater and those films is discounted.

Please, if you would, change the designation on the map to show that the Boeing IMAX Theater is the real thing.

Thanks so much for this email, Mr. Rowe. You're a class act, a decent business man, and generally on top of things. We could use more theater managers like you. I'm changing it right now.

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

Got about 20 more in the last 30 minutes.

The email is getting pretty damn full! It's exciting. I can't tell if the wife is amused or annnoyed. Thanks to Daniel who let me know where all the new attention came from, Reddit. Really hope this helps folks out. Email me at if you know of IMAXes that aren't listed, tell me if they're "real" or "fake", and gimme the address if at ALL possible. It makes things much faster.

Haven't gotten to it yet, but I've got an email about a Hong Kong IMAX in there somewhere. Sweet! Here's the most updated map I have. Be patient if you've already hit me up. More updates tonight.

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

Holy crap. Lots of emails.

It's about one in the afternoon and I just checked my email. Someone spread the word this morning! I've got around a hundred emails to go through. I'll get these logged some time this afternoon guys. Hold tight, and thanks a lot!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Outside of the Giant Screen email,

I've got everything in that I've been emailed about up until now. Hit me at if you have more, or any corrections. This has been a lot of fun so far. I'd love to get every single IMAX in the U.S. logged in here. It's certainly info that could be used in the branding argument, and we've already learned today that IMAX can't be trusted to represent numbers fairly, as evidenced in these shenanigans.

I've had a couple of friends ask me why this gets under my skin so much, so I'll tell everyone here. I have always ridden pretty hard for IMAX. I've got certain friends and acquaintances spread across the country that I've always insisted go to see films on an IMAX screen. My reasons include sound, seating, and most of all, immersion from sheer size of the screen. Resolution was never part of the argument. Sure, I would love if all Hollywood films were shot to fill the screen, but a Hollywood 35mm movie on the IMAX is still pretty damn enjoyable, and much harder to accidentally pull yourself out of.

I've had a couple of people come back to me and say their local IMAX wasn't all that different, in a tone that suggested I was a bit of a loon it my fanaticism for the IMAX Experience. Now I know why, and it's extremely annoying.

So, supposedly these IMAX digital smaller screens have great resolution and such. That's cool. Not mad at that. However, that's not what I expect when I see "IMAX", and that's not an expectation I built all by my lonesome. The IMAX folks are trying to use that good ol' Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field by claiming that the "IMAX Experience" is still happening in these much smaller auditoriums. I suppose that, technically, that's still the case. Those auditoriums ARE running on tech owned by IMAX, after all. However, if they are going to throw out reasoning and numbers that defy logic, they have to also take other cues from Steve. You don't just sell people different sized iPods with different features, simply label and advertise them all as "iPod", and charge the same price for them. If that happened, iPod would NOT be iPod.

Fix your mistakes, IMAX. It's not that hard. You don't have to slight your new brand in the process, you just have to figure out a way to label your different products that gives props to them both. No, I can't do it for you. I don't get paid to make those decisions. YOU do.

Few more entered in between chores.

Nothing like serving some justice in between housework. New locations in NC, OR, FL, ans CA. Email me with any more you wanna report, real or fake.

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

Keep them coming, folks.

I'm already getting backed up on listing! I've got a lot of errands to run today, so I can't update more until tonight. I will update as many as I can between 10 and 11 tonight. Thanks so much for the help on these. Hopefully we will end up saving folks some disappointment. Of course, the ultimate goal would be for IMAX to shift their marketing a bit. Maybe this is a good start.

Thanks to Aziz, Harry, and anyone else that soapboxing about this. I would be PISSED if I went out of town and got fooled.

Just got a motherlode of REAL locations

someone that has worked for a company that does 15/70 films emailed me a giant screen map he did. As soon as I get a reply from him I will start updating the map.

Locations coming in from Brazil!

Thanks to Ricardo Ramos Leite for exposing a LIEMAX in Sao Paulo!

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

Some new locations already!

TX, MI, and NY all have new reported locations. Two new fakes reported. Don't forget to check the map!

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

Starting the map.

I'll work on the blog layout when I can. Here's a link to the map. Hit me up at with info on your local spot.