IMAX is a movie-watching experience that utilizes large-screen technology and special sound systems to create an immersive environment for viewers. IMAX theaters have screens that are much larger than those found in traditional cinemas, often spanning the entire wall of the auditorium. This allows for a more expansive and detailed viewing experience, especially for action-packed or visually-stunning films. The sound systems in IMAX cinemas are also designed to be more powerful and dynamic than those found in regular cinemas, creating a more immersive and realistic audio experience for viewers. IMAX is often considered the highest-quality movie-watching experience available, and many blockbuster films are released in IMAX format.

What are IMAX Cinemas?

Inside an IMAX 3D Theater provides great details regarding IMAX features.

IMAX Technology

There are three main types of IMAX viewing experiences: IMAX 70mm, IMAX Digital, and IMAX with Laser.

IMAX 70mm is the original IMAX format, using the largest film frames and considered the gold standard for movie presentation. However, it has become rare and is only used by a few influential directors.

IMAX Digital was introduced in 2008 and uses digital projectors with 2K resolution (similar to 1080p HD). It was initially used on smaller IMAX screens, but is now also used in many full-sized IMAX theaters.

IMAX with Laser is the newest IMAX technology, introduced in 2015. It is a digital format with no actual film and uses laser projectors with 4K resolution and high dynamic range capability. It is intended to replace the 70mm system in full-sized IMAX theaters and has a 12-channel “immersive sound” system similar to Dolby Atmos.

All three types of IMAX can project 2D or 3D movies, with IMAX 70mm generally considered to offer the sharpest and most detailed picture, followed by IMAX with Laser and IMAX Digital. The size of the projected image and the aspect ratio (the width-to-height ratio of the image) also differs between the three types of IMAX. IMAX Digital has a maximum aspect ratio of 1.90:1, while IMAX with Laser can project the full 1.44:1 ratio. The width of the image also varies, with IMAX Digital able to project an image around 60-70 feet wide and IMAX with Laser intended for screens over 70 feet wide.

What is IMAX DMR?

DMR is a proprietary image processing technology that produces stunning images and details. The technology goes through every frame of the film to digitally remaster the image quality is to the highest quality. The saturation, contrast, brightness and hundreds of details in every frame are meticulously adjusted to create the exclusive IMAX format.

Best IMAX Seat – Where to Sit

Where sit in IMAX theaters depends on which theater type you are in: Classic or Multiplex. Cinema and theater operators can offer one or both within the same location.

Classic IMAX theaters are built specifically to house an IMAX theater and are designed with this purpose in mind. In purpose built IMAX Theaters the best seat is any but but lowest two rows. Most seats offer great views as each row is oriented to the projection to ensure a great movie experience.

Multiplex Design IMAX theaters are existing multiplex auditoriums that have been retrofitted with IMAX technology. Each theater provider offering a different experience.

IMAX versus Standard

IMAX is a film format that is characterized by its use of larger film stock and a different aspect ratio than standard film. The larger film stock and aspect ratio allow for a more immersive visual experience, with greater detail and clarity on the screen. The sound in IMAX theaters is also typically of a higher quality than in standard theaters, with more speakers and a greater range of sound.

IMAX screens are typically much larger than traditional movie screens. On average, an IMAX screen measures 72 feet by 50 feet (22 meters by 16 meters), while traditional movie screens are about 50 feet by 20 feet (16 meters by 6.1 meters). This means that IMAX screens are approximately 44% larger in width and 150% larger in height compared to traditional screens. The additional curved nature of the screen adds an additional 26% viewing area making for the great experience movie goes look for.

Nearby IMAX Theaters

Check the below table to find the nearby IMAX theaters. Use the filters to search by country or city.

IMAX Frequently Asked Questions

How much is an IMAX ticket?

IMAX tickets vary in cost by theater/cinema and currency. Check the cinema operator for ticket pricing.

What does IMAX mean?

IMAX is an acronym that stands for Image Maximum. It is a motion picture film format and a set of cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. The name “IMAX” was chosen because the system was designed to project images of far greater size and resolution than traditional film systems. IMAX is known for its very large screens, high-resolution imagery, and powerful surround sound systems, which combine to create a highly immersive viewing experience for audiences.


The vast majority of IMAX movies are now 3D. See IMAX Movies 2D vs 3D

Are IMAX screens curved?

IMAX 3d screens are curved, 2d are not. The vast majority of IMAX screens are curved.

Are IMAX seats reclining?

Most IMAX theaters/cinemas are designed for the premium experience with some having the option for reclining seats. Check with your local theater/cinema to see if they offer reclining seats.

Can IMAX make you sick?

The advanced display and 3D experience can cause nausea for some viewers. The sound system may also cause headaches for those who have sensitivities.

Why is IMAX so loud?

IMAX sound system is comprised of specially designed multi channel stereo system on a separate dedicated hard drive. This delivers the best and loudest sound at the highest quality for the optimal movie listening experience. Unfortunately this means the sound is typically louder than other movie experiences.

Where is the largest IMAX?

Currently the largest IMAX screen is at the IMAX Melbourne located in Melbourne Australia. Visit IMAX Melbourne to see what movies are playing.

Biggest IMAX Screens in NYC

The Titans of NYC: Largest IMAX Screens New York City, a place where the big screen means truly big, is home to some of the most impressive IMAX theaters in the world. Each of these theaters offers a unique viewing experience, making them must-visit destinations for both cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. Let’s explore the … Read more

What is IMAX Laser?

History of IMAX IMAX is a widely recognized format for films and theaters that was first introduced in 1970. Over the years, IMAX has evolved to offer moviegoers an immersive and high-quality cinematic experience. The introduction of IMAX Laser marked another significant milestone in the history of IMAX technology. What is IMAX Laser? IMAX Laser … Read more
What is an IMAX movie?

What is an IMAX movie?

Summary of What is an IMAX Movie IMAX movies offer a unique and immersive experience through a combination of features, including giant screens, specialized projection technology, IMAX designed theater environments, exclusive IMAX content, multidimensional sound, and an alternate aspect ratio. The IMAX format enhances the visual and audio aspects of movies and an experience that … Read more
IMAX versus Standard

IMAX versus Standard

IMAX versus Standard Summary IMAX and standard theaters offer different movie-going experiences in terms of screen size, image quality, sound system, seating arrangements, and ticket prices. IMAX theaters have larger screens that provide a more immersive viewing experience with a clearer and more vivid image, an advanced surround sound system, and more spacious and comfortable … Read more
IMAX logo with 3D on screen in 3D

IMAX Movies 2D vs 3D

Is IMAX 3D? Not all IMAX movies playing are 3D however the vast majority are. While many people associate IMAX with 3D movies, the company has a long history of showing both 2D and 3D movies. In fact, IMAX began as a 2D movie format in the 1970s, and it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that … Read more

Average Cinema Screen Size

Average Cinema Screen Size The size of cinema screens can vary widely, depending on the type of theater, the geographical location, and the viewing formats offered (such as IMAX or traditional). However, there is a general range that most cinema screens fall into, which can be considered the “average” size. This average helps set expectations … Read more