Recently I experienced Shang-Chi and the Legend that the Ten rings at the Cineworld IMAX Leicester Square in London – and it was glorious (framed in 1.9:1 element ratio throughout, filling the whole of the screen) - however one thing I i found it was missing - and that was 3D.

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The IMAX Cineworld display is a flagship for IMAX in the UK, featuring a vast 26.5m by 15.6m screen, dual 4K laser projection, 12-channel sound, and also pretty comfy seats. All of these things are very good, and also it created a very impressive experience.

Shang-Chi is specifically effective in IMAX since the movie to be filmed top top Arri Alexa LF IMAX movie cameras v Panavision Primo and also Sphero 65 Lenses, so the whole movie is design to fill the 1.9:1 facet ratio of one IMAX screen at complete quality. This means it has more picture above and below the 2.35:1 element ratio supplied in traditional movie theater so everything is simply bigger – as befits a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The dual-laser system in the screen additionally delivers much more brightness, which helps to ensure richer colours and also deeper blacks. Meanwhile, the 12-channel speaker mechanism produces fulsome, however still specific sound, with 4 overhead speaker to assist produce convincing audio immersion.

So far so an excellent – however one point I noted was the a pair of years back a movie such as this would have been presented in IMAX 3D – however with this movie, and Black Widow a couple of months prior to it, 2D was the only option. Numerous have had actually it in for 3D for a very long time and also it seems that, finally, they have got their way.

3D has been lambasted through many human being for numerous reasons. It was seen as a pessimistic cash take that raised ticket prices, and also it forced people to wear glasses that gave a dark dingy photo that provided them headaches. However, the bulk of world that didn’t favor 3D hadn’t do the efforts IMAX 3D.


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There are technical differences between IMAX 3D and the RealD 3D modern technology used in traditional cinemas – the former uses linear polarization and the latter circular polarization, however I nothing think that mattered a jot – the main distinction is the brightness of the projectors. Yes, 3D glasses minimize the quantity of light hitting your eyes, but when supplied in a cinema through a laser projector the high brightness output comprised for that so you acquired the extra colour richness and contrast, with a beautiful deep image.

However, if IMAX is well-known most civilization will still have actually experienced 3D ~ above a regular screen, and also I would certainly agree the it was constantly disappointing and I would certainly not pick to see a movie in 3D in this way. IMAX 3D however, was always a pleasure, and I discovered that 3D naysayers were constantly presently surprised.

3D to be re-introduced to contemporary cinema by James Cameron’s Avatar back in 2009, however this was a movie designed from the floor up v 3D in mind. This wasn’t excellent with most 3D movies, and also the 3D effect was rather usually done by a quick and dirty switch that produced some negative results i m sorry put human being off the format.

Latterly, however, directors to be taking the moment to oversee the 3D conversions, when the technical human being got better at taking care of the software. This method a movie converted right into 3D was not a problem.

I would agree the ticket prices to be an issue. Somehow it appears that 3D movies to be priced higher, which never seem fair to me, particularly when human being were already paying a premium price for an IMAX experience.

Certainly, the general public appetite because that 3D waned, and also where one it to be nigh on impossible to uncover a 2D screening, it to be 3D showings that became the exception. This didn’t stroked nerves me, and also the only place I would watch 3D anyway remained in an IMAX, or theoretically in a Dolby Cinema (I’ve only ever seen one movie in the format).

That option seems despite to have actually been bring away away. Black color Widow come in the UK in 2D IMAX only, and also now the same has actually happened because that Shang-Chi.

There is one location that 3D deserve to still be seen – and that’s 4DX – the mechanism where the seats relocate around and also punch you in the back, lamp flash and air is blasted into your face. The problem with this is the it’s reducing 3D to a novelty design template park, level of to chat – which i think is unfair.

There were specific sequences in Shang-Chi ns felt would have actually looked great in 3D, (the water melting away native the lock because that instance), and indeed a stereoscopic version of the movie to be created, however the alternative for me to see it is no longer there.

It’s no as if IMAX 3D versions aren’t gift made at all. Specific regions room still gaining 3D versions, such together IMAX Melbourne, yet in the UK and the us we space not being afforded that luxury.

I would certainly argue the 3D IMAX showings should only be should in IMAX theatres with high brightness laser projectors – however that would average they would have to create a tiered system that would certainly disadvantage the non-laser theatres – a difference it would probably not prefer to attract too lot attention to.

Possibly the Covid that has dealt the final death knell over here. If the glasses are constantly cleaned in between performances perhaps the thought of donning something that various other punters had actually worn would certainly put people off once the require to gain bums on seats is better than ever.

It will additionally have a knock-on result on residence releases, and many Blu-Ray 3D discs were still gift produced. Projection-based house cinema is ideal for 3D and having simply completed mine own residence cinema job I feel quite aggrieved that the publication are now drying up.

Large-screen passive 4K OLED TV solved the early problems of 3D in the home – and also just as that nut to be cracked – castle stopped producing 3D TVs – and also now simply as IMAX 3D v Laser i do not care the organic home because that cinematic 3D – they it seems to be ~ to have actually closed the door on that too.

And it is a shame.

Following publication an IMAX spokesman sent me the adhering to statement, which i am happy come publish here.

“We work-related painstakingly through filmmakers to bring their an imaginative visions come life v the utmost fidelity v the IMAX Experience. As soon as a filmmaker creates specifically for 3D or is deeply involved in a 3D conversion, over there are couple of mediums together immersive and also visually arresting. We remain really interested in presenting movies in IMAX 3Dwhenthat essential mix of film housing intent and audience need is there.”

The standout comments because that me room "filmmaker intent and also audience demand." This implies that have to there be strong desire because that 3D IMAX, either from the filmmaker or audience, it would certainly be happy to present it. No doubt that will be the situation with Avatar 2 movie from James Cameron, yet that"s no due till the end of 2022, and I because that one hope us don"t need to wait that lengthy for the following blockbuster 3D movie experience.

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A technology journalist for over twenty years, I have observed and also written around how the civilization has advanced from analogue come digital. I have written, in print and online, for consumer and B2B tech publications such together TrustedReviews, Wired, expert Reviews, Den that Geek, residence Cinema Choice, that Pro, IT pro Portal and also Expert Reviews, and also been the voice of customer tech for publications such together The Sunday Times and also the Jewish Chronicle. Ns have also appeared on BBC World organization News and also BBC Radio five Live.