IMAX (short for Image MAXimum) is a motion picture film format and projection standard created by Canada’s IMAX Corporation whose technology is geared to the 3D. So there is lot of excitement about the new IMAX theater going in Escazú, and no one is more excited than Repretel, the theater operator. Repretel runs several Costa Rica television stations, and viewers have been hammered with lengthy news stories about the new theater. In fact a bit of overkill when Channel 11 and Channel 6 ran lengthy segments including discussions about the how good is the popcorn going to be. Some were a bit embarrassed about the over hype of the theater.
It is the sixth IMAX in Latin America but the first in Costa Rica. México has two, Guatemala has one and Colombia has two.
Already expats and Costa Ricans are anxiously waiting in seeing the movie “Avatar,” a science fiction fantasy in 3D.
This is the first time Costa Rican’s will be able to experience 3-D films, which have existed in some form since 1890, but were largely relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3-D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3-D films were prominently featured in the 1950s and 1980s in American cinema, and are currently experiencing a world-wide resurgence coinciding with the development of computer-generated imagery and the introduction of high-definition video standards. Up until now, it was a very costly investment to open a 3-D outside the U.S.
The traditional version of IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems. A standard IMAX screen is 22 metres (72 ft) wide and 16.1 metres (53 ft) high, but can vary. The world’s largest cinema screen and IMAX screen is in the LG IMAX theatre in Darling Harbour, Sydney. It is 29.42m (approximately 8 stories) high by 35.73m wide — covering an area of more than 1,015 square metres.
IMAX is the most widely used system for large-format, special-venue film presentations. As of April 2009, there are 320 IMAX theatres in 42 countries, with about half of these located in the United States. About 60% of IMAX venues are commercial theatres with the other 40% being located in educational venues.