Have you wandered around the movie theaters lately?
My wife and I watched Star Trek at the Arlington in Santa Barbara with Jan, our 17 m/o boy. As many parents know (we didn’t), this was very stressful at best, my wife walked out with our little chat-box around the time Vulcan was black holed into oblivion and Spock rescued his family, sort of.
After this experience I had no choice but to drive to Oxnard and have grandma spend quality time with Jan while we go to the movies.
Our first movie was “Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”. We were super excited, we have just visited Washington D.C. last April and went to the Smithsonian museums (the ones at the National Mall) and were just crazy about this movie so we chose the IMAX screen at the Edwards Camarillo Palace 12 movie theater in Camarillo.
Unlike our previous IMAX movies, this one looked more like a normal multiplex screen. We were expecting the standard 72ft x 53ft IMAX screen you see at the California Science Center and at the Smithsonian. The movie started and yes, we noticed the picture had more resolution and it looked crisper but short of the overwhelming interaction you have at a conventional IMAX theater where it forces you to scan through the picture and feel like you belong in the movie.
Two hours later and short of $31 ($15.50 x 2) I realized that this was a marketing scheme designed to make moviegoers pay more for tickets and I was not happy about it.
Indeed, I felt I was cheated. I could’ve seen the same movie for $11.50 (Edwards Camarillo Palace 12 is a little over priced I think) in a normal screen and I wouldn’t have missed a thing.
The obvious plot here is that eventually all movie theaters will upgrade their systems to IMAX and 3-D systems, whether a film was shot in 35mm or 65mm (IMAX) or if it has a short 3-D sequence in it and have us all pay for it.
Our second movie was Pixar’s “UP”, it came in two flavors, standard and 3-D ($15.50 again), this time we chose standard. It felt like I defeated the evil conspiracy that’s trying to sell us gimmicks and gadgets by simply sticking to essence.
Back home in Santa Barbara, saw a TV ad selling the 3-D version of “UP”. I wondered when will the evil conspiracy will drag me along with everyone.