The special filming and projection techniques of large format films offer an out of the ordinary experience to the audience and have and astounding impact and long recall. Through the immediacy of breathtaking images, large format films provide high quality entertainment and key information at the same time. These films are also well-known as IMAX® movies. IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation, Mississauga, CA.
Large format films are shot in 15-perforation, 70mm film and project images of incredible sharpness. The 15/70 frame is 10 times larger than the 35mm used in regular theatres and three times larger than standard 70mm film used in classic Hollywood epics. This makes it the largest commercial film ever invented.
Given the scale and sophistication of these films, they can only be shown in purposely built cinemas. IMAX theatres feature a giant (up to eight stories high), flat, silver screen and seating that is steeply pitched between 19 and 25 degrees. This allows everyone, even small children, to look up, down and sideways to see the entire screen without obstructions.
Unlike a normal 2D large format movie, a 3D film consists of two films being shown simultaneously. The 3D camera has two lenses set the same distance apart as the human eyes, and films both the left and the right eye images at the same time.
The two pictures are then projected through polarized glass, each eye polarized differently so that the left eye does not see the image of the right eye and vice versa. The viewer wears polarized glasses to help keep the two images separate. Through a process called “stereopsis” the brain brings the two views together into a single three dimensional image.
The 3D effect is truly amazing and not available in any other theatre environment. About 100 large format theatres can show 3D presentations.
There are more than 300 large format theatres operating in 32 countries around the world. Approximately 60 percent of the theatres are located in North America, while the remaining 40 percent are spread internationally.
Roughly 50 percent of the theatres are located in institutional venues, such as museums, planetariums, and maritime centres like American Museum of Natural History New York, British Film Institute London, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Carnegie science Center Pittsburgh, Museum of Science Boston, National Museum of Natural Science Taiwan, Singapore Science Center, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Washington etc.