The "Lie-MAX" Controversy

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by ShardEnder, Jul 10, 2014.

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  1. ShardEnder

    ShardEnder Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I recently noticed advertisements announcing that my local cinema (Cineworld @ Xscape Yorkshire) is rolling out the IMAX 3D experience, but in discussion with a friend I was told to search for "Lie-MAX" and decide for myself whether it's worth paying the inflated prices that are now being asked...

    I've yet to find a definitive answer regarding this particular instance, though if it turns out Cineworld is using a lower resolution than the IMAX standard then I'd consider getting the train through to Bradford, as I'm pretty sure the way the National Media Museum there shows its films is the real deal.

    On the other hand, if the difference isn't that obvious then I might consider checking out a film or two closer to home. However, the 3D part doesn't interest me in the slightest as I'm not able to see it to begin with, thanks to a progressive muscular condition that means I've got reduced vision in my left eye.

    I'm curious to know if anyone else here can share their stories or views of the so-called Lie-MAX and whether it's really that much of a problem. According to this video, quite a large number of supposedly full resolution cinemas are misleading customers and continuing to charge them the full amount:

     
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround All you need is one killer track

    Location:
    USA
    LieMax is like paying $30 for a vinyl version of an album, only to find it was mastered off the CD.

    Here's a comparison of the one real IMAX screen in New York City, versus a LieMax screen in the city. The LieMax screen is about 1/3 larger than the regular screens in that theater. They charge the same (higher than regular) price for showings on the real IMAX as for the LieMax.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. ShardEnder

    ShardEnder Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Based on the fixed dimensions of the venue I mentioned earlier (which is actually inside a much larger complex), there's no way they'd be able to fit a real IMAX screen in without significantly expanding the host building, and since that's clearly not happened then I certainly won't be paying extra for the equivalent of a CD pressed to vinyl... Even when you include the cost of travelling for the nearest genuine experience, I'd rather support this over such a blatant cash grabbing exercise - it's too bad the average customer won't know or care enough to make a difference to Cineworld's inevitable profit increase!
     
  4. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    I was to an IMAX theater in 1991 and the screen was gigantic and just going into the room was like going into outer space. They needed to do construction to fit the screen in the building. When IMAX shows up at my local malls and they didn't do any construction, it's fake.
     
  5. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
  6. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    If it's double-stacked 4K digital projectors and the screen is at least 40' tall, I think it's close enough. A lot depends on how well they maintain the producer, how good the sound is, if the projection is properly aligned, if the seats are in the right position, and so on. A lot of this "premium theater experience" is just hocum designed to drive up ticket prices, but when it's well-done, I think it's the closest you can get to IMAX without 70mm film.

    The woman in the video above is a misinformed [MOD: deleted] who makes a lot of superficial observations that were more true a few years ago. She mixes in some truth with the vague generalities and is only somewhat correct. As one example, I thought the 3D in Avengers -- not shot in 3D -- looked fantastic. Not all fake IMAX is terrible, and some of it is extremely good. And even many films shot in 3D have so many digital effects, they have to dimension alive the effects anyway. Hell, even Gravity, considered by many to be one of the greatest 3D films ever made, was mostly dimensionalized. And it was all short in HD, too... No 4K. And won the Oscar for best cinematography and made $717 million.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2014
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  7. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    Outlet malls aren't showing IMAX properly. They just stick a huge screen in one of their theaters and go with it.
     
  8. babyblue

    babyblue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Believe me, once you see a real IMAX screen, you'll know it. They're HUGE and most of them are located in museums or science centers. I saw my first IMAX film at the 1974 World's Fair and it was quite an experience. Years later I saw the Rolling Stones concert movie on the same screen and was still blown away. The so-called IMAX screens at malls are just laughable in comparison.
     
  9. I can't be sure but I remember on average screens used to be bigger in general (not IMAX though) and after the intro of multiplexes with multiple screens, screen sizes got smaller and now only opening day blockbusters get the "big" screen. Am I wrong about this? Or did screens just shrink as I got bigger?
     
  10. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Why pay the extra coin for a screen that's almost as big as a regular movie
     
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  11. whiskerbiscuit

    whiskerbiscuit Well-Known Member

    Location:
    SoCal
    See you next Tuesday! And Bababooey to y'all.
     
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  12. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I'm 47, and I've seen a mix of movie theaters trends in my life. When I was a kid, single-screen theaters were the norm, and around 1974 or so, we started to see more two-screen theaters. A few that were originally single screen went double, and newer theaters opened with 2. I could be wrong, but I think Springfield Mall - which had a THX screen for years - was 2 screens when it first opened.

    It eventually mutated into 4 and then 6 and then 8 screens, and 3+ screens became more common. That's when we really started to see the small screens - malls would cram theaters into tiny spaces and the screens would be dinky. I remember some mall locations that were so tiny shadows would show up on screen when people would stand!

    I think people liked the variety of multiplexes for a while but started to rebel against the tiny screens, so in the 1980s and especially 1990s theaters started to go more deluxe. We saw bigger screens, better sound and better seating.

    Now deluxe screens are becoming much more common. Theaters are adding "IMAX Lite" such as RPX or the like, bigger than average screens with cushy seats.

    As home theaters became more common, movie theaters realized they need a more immersive experience and that's led to a boom in bigger/nicer theaters over the last decade or so. The tiny crapboxes of the 1970s have mostly gone the way of the dodo, though I still find some subpar screens at times...
     
  13. Really? I think New York in particular has some pretty tiny screens nowadays.
     
  14. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Well, I did say "mostly" - I know there are still small/crappy screens out there. They're being largely outmoded, though, as the trend is toward a more deluxe movie-going experience.

    I think the small crapboxes still exist because they're cheap to run and still get enough traffic to make it worth keeping them open. I try to avoid them as much as possible...
     
  15. CusBlues

    CusBlues Forum Resident

    Around here, the smaller, 1970s style theaters you describe are are called "dollar theaters" and show movies after their initial run for a cheaper price.
     
  16. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    That makes sense, and I don't object to those at all. It's when I pay full price and the theater's outdated that I mind.

    We used to have a bunch of bargain screens in the DC area but most are defunct now. In grad school, that was my main movie-going outlet, as I was too poor/cheap to spring for full price! :)

    With my student discount, I could get movie/popcorn/drink at the University Mall theaters for something like $6 total. They had midnight showings Fri/Sat so I'd go after I worked my restaurant job - I loved that!

    U Mall was built in 1977 and initially was a first-run place - I have other fond childhood memories of it. They shut down after about 10 years but were rehabilitated as second run around 1991, IIRC.

    Those theaters are still going but I've not been there in years - driving 20 miles each way for $4 second-run movies doesn't make much sense. I should go again one of these days out of nostalgia - and to see if they've done anything to upgrade the screens...
     
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  17. Matthew

    Matthew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jammin' at Sun
    LIEMAX 3D spoiled the Gravity movie experience for me, I could see the pixel grid.

    So much for the feeling of being in space!
     
  18. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Didn't the original IMAX require that the film be shot using special cameras? And aren't all of the popular big H-wood actioners that show up in theatres these days shot on other media, then somehow 'upscaled' for so-called IMAX?
    More a question than an assertion. The only true IMAX theatre in Austin is the Bob Bullock, and they seem to show nature films and documentaries. The ones carrying the current big popular releases seem to be so-called Lie-Max.
    I think the one near us in New York metro, at the Palisades mall may be an older IMAX theatre. It's been a while since I've gone there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  19. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    No one can hear you scream about pixels in space! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
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  20. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
  21. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Some Hollywood movies have been partially shot with real IMAX cameras. "Dark Knight" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness" each had about 30 minutes of IMAX footage, while "Dark Knight Rises" had about an hour. There are a few others as well, and the new "Transformers" uses new IMAX digital cameras.

    IMO, there's no really great benefit to seeing a non-IMAX film on a real IMAX screen. I saw the first "Hobbit" on a real IMAX screen - it was a good presentation but not really any better than seeing it on a large traditional screen.

    But for those movies with scenes shot IMAX, they're frinkin' awesome on IMAX screens!
     
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  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    The Lincoln Center IMAX screen is amazing. Not sure if it's the biggest in North America, but I believe it's close!
     
  23. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Funny, I've only lived in NY since 1981 and I don't think I was ever in that theatre. Used to go to the Ziegfield back in the day for the 'big' releases; made the mistake of going to a Times Square theatre to see Predator when it was released. (This was the old Times Sq, not the Disney-fied version of it). The only time the audience shut up was when someone was being killed. Thankfully, the movie had enough action to make that work. Ah, the good old days of NYC. :)
     
  24. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Hey, there are some true IMAX screens at malls! The one in Tempe AZ is in a mall! :)

    Since I live near DC, I'm accustomed to IMAX screens being in museums. (We have three true IMAX screens here, all of which are run by the Smithsonian.)

    It kinda weirds me out when I see true IMAX at a commercial movie complex like the one in Tempe or AMC's Lincoln Center multiplex. It just feels... wrong, and I want to be like Indiana Jones and shout that "IMAX belongs in a museum!!!" :laugh:
     
  25. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Next time there's a movie that uses real IMAX and plays at Lincoln Center, you should see it there. I don't think I've ever had a cinematic experience quite as amazing as the "Dark Knight" flicks on real IMAX screens.

    Actually, Chris Nolan's "Interstellar" supposedly will use more real IMAX than "Rises"! And I just read that parts of the next "Star Wars" movie will be real IMAX! :pineapple:
     
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