It's Saturday night (1/21). Three visiting relatives and I decide to attend a 7pm IMAX showing of Underworld Awakening - 3D. The IMAX is located at the Regal Cinema Transit 18, Williamsville, NY.
Admission for four adults - $64, our concession
brings the total to $112.
Showtime - we're excited. The trailers began and end. Then, a blank screen (no picture/no sound). After 10 minutes moviegoers are on their cells calling the Theatre to inform them that they are sitting in the IMAX auditorium with nothing happening. 5 minutes later the movie starts.
In the upper left section of the screen are huge swirl marks and the image is slightly blurry. The 3D glasses are chintzy throw-aways (bright yellow of flimsy plastic with stiff non-folding arms and very thin lenses). There are collection bins at the exits so Regal (I assume) is re-using the glasses to save money.
My companions notice the swirl marks and ask what I think. I believe it is a lens problem, and not screen or movie related. The image is dark and unless you keep your head looking straight ahead the image blurs. This is really a very poor 3D presentation.
THE "IMAX EXPERIENCE" ...... REALLY
Great movie - I really like the Underworld franchise - but the presentation was horrendous, especially in view of the $100+ cost. My three compatriots echoed my sentiments and all agreed that the overall presentation was awful and certainly did not merit its cost. We were all expecting a premium presentation and were extremely disappointed and, as you can guess, not too keen on another visit to the IMAX anytime soon.
|Big and Bad|
My IMAX "experience" is the reason cinema attendance continues to drop. Movie exhibition, at many cinemas, is not customer-centric or friendly but hostile, uncaring, and money driven - and moviegoers are acutely aware of this.
Consumers like going to the cinema, but more and more it is becoming a non-value based activity as compared against other ways of viewing and enjoying a film. Regal and IMAX need to take note and quickly.