As we established last week, not all IMAX screens are the same. Some are amazingly gimongous while others are only moderately gargantuan.
Irate moviegoers who learned their local IMAXes are only moderately gargantuan have lashed out in anger, calling their theaters “LIEMAX” or “IMAX LITE.” Sticks and stones, you know.
Unhappy with the backlash, Rich Gelfond talked with Wired.com’s Hugh Hart that some IMAXES are not as long, strong and down to put the friction on as the larger ones because the newer, smaller screens fit better inside multiplexes whereas the old-school, standalone IMAXes could spread out their legs and take up pretty much as much space as they wanted.
Then Gelfond gets all “there is no spoon” and explains that an IMAX screen — no matter the size — is only as big as your mind’s eye wants it to be.
IMAX is the biggest screen. But it’s not only screen size. There’s something called “perceived screen size,” which involves the relationship of the viewer to the screen. If you’re in the first row, that screen is going to look a hell of a lot bigger to you than if you’re in the 30th row. We typically take out the first four rows of seats in a theater and move the screen forward so it’s a lot farther forward in an IMAX theater. Also, the screen goes floor to ceiling, wall to wall. By bringing a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall screen forward toward the audience, the viewer has the perception that the screen is larger than just the physical size.
So true. The obvious application is for poorly endowed males to cling to “perceived size” as the new panacea. Furthermore, when you shove my face into your DS you can trick me into thinking you’re playing Dr. Mario on a 72-foot IMAX screen.
And if you cross your eyes while reading Gelfond’s words they almost don’t seem like bullsh*t.