Dark Knight - How would it Play on a IMAX Dome Theatre
Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:51 PM
Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:36 PM
Hi there - first time, long time.
Have a chance to see Dark Knight in IMAX tomorrow but on a Dome Theatre. How would would it play? Would it be better to see it on a flat screen?
I made the mistake of seeing this in what turned out to be an OMNIMAX/IMAX Dome theater. It was a nightmare. The near-planaterium configuration (an extremely concave screen curvature that's *supposed* to be compensated for by a corrective lens, which either is not particularly effective, or wasn't properly implemented in this case) resulted in a relatively true center screen, flaring out in all directions into extreme distortion. All those beautiful shots of Gotham/Chicago? All 'straight' lines bowed outward toward the far corners of the screen.
Not only was the image unacceptably distorted, it was dim, with marginal focus (which at that size wasn't so marginal in even a two-shot). The screen was blemished, the geometric patterns of the superstructure behind it visible, and there was *exactly one fiber* on the lens. A fiber?! Sounds picky, right? Try it at that screen size. The frickin' Tingler.
I knew within a minute that I should probably just walk out and get a refund, but here's the thing: the design of the theater is relentlessly vertical - much more extreme than stadium seating. The showing was sold out, and I would have to cross about 20 people to get to the aisle. Fine. Now, the walkway is no more than a foot's length to the next row - which was at head's level to my foot, with no rail or 'lip' of any kind! The seatbacks were lower than the heads of the next-lower level of patrons! The verticality and the oppressive size & relative proximity of the screen screamed 'potential vertigo!' to me at any attempt to leave. I felt like if I bungled my exit at all, I'd either be in my row's collective lap, or pitched into the row below (and below that? and below...?).
What if there was a panic in a theater like this? Honestly - I predict injury. I'm sure it's a standard design for OMNIMAX, and that they've somehow passed all building and safety standards set before them, but I just can't see how. I'm not particularly prone to vertigo, or to claustrophobia, but someone who is? Oh boy - it'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!
I'm thinking a good part of it is that the screen really does feel like it's right on top of you (and kinda is), which affects your judgment when trying to negotiate a hasty retreat through a dark, narrow social space - with only open air to balance yourself with on one side. Having said that, I still think people could get hurt, and here's a few pictures of similar OMNIMAX set-ups - I swear, though, the one I went to seemed even more 'stacked'. Those seats recline a bit when sat in, but the seatbacks definitely didn't clear the walkway with people in 'em.
It was enough to keep me in my seat when all I wanted to do was leave. I feel like I haven't really seen the film, and can't in good conscience weigh in on its merits.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 06:19 PM
I guess I've been remembering my past Omnimax moviegoing as a young child through rose-colored glasses.
It was quite stunning and sharp in IMAX.