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Old 06-27-2010, 02:50 PM
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Default My Avatar IMAX 3-D Experience

Yesterday evening I went and saw Avatar in IMAX at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

This was the first time I had been to the IMAX theater at the Natural History Museum. The Smithsonian Institution (of which the Natural History Museum is a part) has two other IMAX theaters in the Air & Space Museum and the Air & Space Museum annex in Chantilly, VA (which is near Dulles International Airport). I have been to both the IMAX theaters in the Air & Space Museums and thought I would know what to expect when I went to see Avatar in IMAX last night.

However, when I went to the Natural History Museum and picked up my ticket at the box office, there was a sign that said “welcome to the largest IMAX theater.” I was a bit puzzled by that as I had seen the other two IMAX theaters the Smithsonian had and thought I knew what an IMAX theater should look like.

Well, I was wrong. The Natural History Museum has a *huge* IMAX theater! It is enormous. It must seat around a thousand people. The screen is gigantic. I was seriously impressed. There were a lot of people there to see Avatar – given that it was a Saturday night and this is tourist season in D.C., I was not surprised at the large crowd.

As for Avatar in IMAX…well, I have to say that if you have not seen Avatar on a true, real, IMAX screen, you really haven’t seen the movie at all. This is format that Avatar was made for. Forget about your local movie screen, and certainly forget about your home theater system. IMAX is what Avatar was meant to be seen in.

I can tell you that I had never seen Pandora like this! The shear stunning beauty of the forest took my breath away! The amount of detail I was able to see when Jake, Norm and Grace first landed in the forest was simply amazing. Pandora is real!! Not to mention Pandora at night, when Neytiri first sets her eyes on Jake to when she helps him defeat the viper wolves – Pandora at night came to life in a way that I cannot describe here. Words like “stunning” and “beauty” don’t seem to do the forest justice.

Avatar is a work of art. It is not just CGI, it is a masterpiece, a moving masterpiece that rightfully belongs in a museum. And IMAX is the vehicle that allows you to see Avatar and Pandora in all their majesty.

The characters in IMAX also seemed to come alive more and were even more believable and real – if you can imagine that. The destruction of Home Tree and the flights of the Ikrans were rendered in all their splendor on the huge IMAX screen.

I didn’t find IMAX to be hard on my eyes at all – in fact it was actually easier on my eyes then the normal theater screen. I sat on the top most tier of seats and not close to the huge screen. 3-D is so much more effective on that large screen. The only down side was the 3D glasses they handed out. They were large and clumsy and kept sliding down my nose.

This was my seventh viewing of Avatar, and my first time seeing the movie in three months. I very much enjoyed it. I especially loved my favorite parts of the movie, when Neytiri and Jake meet in the forest and Jake gets taken for the first time to the clan; and when he becomes Toruk Makto, and love scene between Jake and Neytiri (which I had forgotten most of the details of – it’s so sensuous!). I have to say though that subsequent viewings of Avatar do not match up to the emotions and excitement I felt on my first four viewings. But I love the film and it has a permanent place in my heart.

The shear beauty and magnificence of this film, coupled with a wonderful story and great characters just makes me so grateful to James Cameron and the folks at WETA Digital for making his vision come to life in stunning perfection. IMAX brings that perfection to you in all its glory.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:29 PM
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yeah IMAX is cool
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:43 PM
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Sounds like you had fun! Too bad I live in a small city and the only big IMAX is 100 miles away from me. Heck, I don't even know if it's the real thing.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:24 PM
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*tear* i dont have any imax 3D screens near me
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:47 PM
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Oh, now I just can't wait till it's re-released this fall, going to have to make a special trip somewhere to a big Imax theater to see it.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:52 PM
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take me with you
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:05 AM
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Anyone know of a website that lists the dimensions of different theaters' IMAX screens? I saw Avatar once on IMAX but the screen seemed smaller than what I was expecting. (And I only just found out that many newer IMAX screens really are smaller than what has been normal for them.)
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Glass View Post
Anyone know of a website that lists the dimensions of different theaters' IMAX screens? I saw Avatar once on IMAX but the screen seemed smaller than what I was expecting. (And I only just found out that many newer IMAX screens really are smaller than what has been normal for them.)
Where did you see Avatar in IMAX? Some regular theaters claim they have IMAX screens, but they are really smaller and not the "real" thing.

Most museums or planateriams (sp?) have the true IMAX theaters. The Smithsonian has three, and the Natural History Museum has the largest IMAX screen. I will do some research and see if I can find out the dimentions of most IMAX screens.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeFanGirl View Post
Where did you see Avatar in IMAX? Some regular theaters claim they have IMAX screens, but they are really smaller and not the "real" thing.

Most museums or planateriams (sp?) have the true IMAX theaters. The Smithsonian has three, and the Natural History Museum has the largest IMAX screen. I will do some research and see if I can find out the dimentions of most IMAX screens.
I saw it at the theater in Aliso Viejo, California. I think it only opened last year, and I'm almost certain it wasn't the "real" thing, and definitely not as awesome as the Natural History Museum sounds!

If you find anything, I'll be glad to hear it. Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeFanGirl View Post
Where did you see Avatar in IMAX? Some regular theaters claim they have IMAX screens, but they are really smaller and not the "real" thing.

Most museums or planateriams (sp?) have the true IMAX theaters. The Smithsonian has three, and the Natural History Museum has the largest IMAX screen. I will do some research and see if I can find out the dimentions of most IMAX screens.
The smallest "real" IMAX screen size is 72' wide x 53' tall I believe. Some screens may be much bigger and some much smaller (such as the kind you find in a retrofitted movie theater) Below is a comparison of a real IMAX and a fake IMAX

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Old 07-01-2010, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helicoradian View Post
The smallest "real" IMAX screen size is 72' wide x 53' tall I believe. Some screens may be much bigger and some much smaller (such as the kind you find in a retrofitted movie theater) Below is a comparison of a real IMAX and a fake IMAX

Yeah, that smaller screen looks a bit like what I saw it on, and if it was part of a retrofitted theater then I'm not surprised. I now remember having to ask the guy sitting next to me if I was even in the IMAX theater.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:55 AM
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Very awesome description! I cant wait to go now!
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