Thursday, November 13, 2008

IMAX in Cascadia

The Pacific Northwest has a wealth of IMAX Theaters to see the best picture quality films available on the planet. This past year, we've seen some major news stories about AMC Theaters announcing IMAX in the Greater Seattle Area. We've also just received word this month that a new IMAX Theater has been announced to open at the Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue. I hope this is just the begining of seeing more of these theaters opening in the region.

Here's the most updated list I could create covering IMAX Theaters in Cascadia.

Scotiabank Theatre Chinook - Calgary, Alberta
Scotiabank Theatre West Edmonton - Edmonton, Alberta
Telus World of Science-Edmonton - Edmonton, Alberta

Colossus Langley - Langley, BC
SilverCity Riverport - Richmond, BC
CN IMAX Theatre - Vancouver, BC
OMNIMAX Theatre - Vancouver, BC
National Geographic IMAX Theatre - Victoria, BC

Edwards Boise Statium 21 - Boise, Idaho

Yellowstone IMAX Theatre - West Yellowstone, Mountana

Evergreen Aviation Museum IMAX Theater - McMinnville, Oregon
OMNIMAX Theater at OMSI - Portland, Oregon
Regal Cinemas Bridgeport Village Stadium 18 & IMAX - Tigard, Oregon

Lincoln Square Cinemas IMAX Theater - Bellevue, Washington (Opening 2009)
Regal Martin Village Stadium 16 & IMAX - Lacey, Washington
AMC Loews Alderwood 16 & IMAX Theater - Lynnwood, WA (Opening 2009)
Boeing & Eames IMAX Theaters - Seattle, Washington
Riverfront Park IMAX Theater - Spokane, Washington
AMC Southcenter 16 & IMAX Theater - Tukwila, Washington

1 comment:

Scott said...

While we welcomed IMAX expansion into our local theaters (Southcenter in Tukwila, Wa, and Lincoln Square in Bellevue, Wa), I must say that after our first experience we are unlikely to choose IMAX over the regular screens in those theaters.

We arrived at Lincoln Square Cinemas 45min before the Star Trek feature with our pre-purchased tickets to find the line already quite long. When they opened the doors and we went in, the only spot large enough to handle 4 of us together was either in the first three rows or the back row, so we opted for the back row about 1/4th of the way across on the right (as viewed from the screen). From that location the ceiling mounted speaker above us in the back corner totally dominated the experience, there was no balance. It seems as if those upper rear speakers are being relied on for most of the bass in the entire theater, rather than distributing the sound more evenly. Wandering around the theater during the closing credits, we realized that quite a bit of the theater around the edges and in front was not very desirable seating due to sound or view angles. Certainly most of those seats were not worth the 40%-50% premium over the regular screens. Because of the relatively short runs each movie is being given on those screens, most showings we could make it to are selling-out, thus in addition to the increased ticket price we would have to spend at least an additional hour in line for good seating. It just isn't worth that to us.

What would it take to bring us in regularly? (we are big movie buffs)

Reserved seating. If we could pick our seats at the time we booked on-line then we would probably catch most movies offered in IMAX, secure that we could show up 10-15min before the showing and be happy with the experience.

I realize that reserved seating itself offers some challenges, as when people see the only seats left are less desirable they might not purchase, leaving you with non-sold-out showings. I believe you could address that by one of two methods.
1) Only make the most desirable block of seats near the center reserved seating, once those were sold out the rest are general admission.
2) Tiered pricing based on seat desirability.