Theatres across the world are gearing up for a blockbuster weekend when two of the biggest releases of the year will battle it out in possibly the greatest movie war in recent years.
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie The Movie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer will hit theatres on the 21st of July, and people are scrambling to get tickets to both films which many have dubbed as the ‘Barbenheimer’ craze. Critic reviews for both films are already out, and both are being praised as the filmmakers’ grandest films yet.
While you can watch Barbie in just about any decent theatre, if you’ve been a Nolan fanatic for a long time, you’d know that there are certain ways to enjoy the full experience of a Nolan film. His latest is an epic war drama that tells the fascinating story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, known to be the father of the atomic bomb. With an impressive cast comprising Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, and Emily Blunt, Nolan even went as far as to recreate the look of a nuclear explosion for the film without using CGI. His filmmaking choices don’t exactly sit well with all kinds of theatre screens, and that sometimes diminishes the viewer’s experience.
The same goes for Oppenheimer, which Nolan shot using an IMAX camera system, and to get the best immersive experience while watching the film, you need to watch it specifically in 70mm IMAX theatres. The IMAX has a vertically bigger aspect ratio and so the viewers get a larger and better picture on a 70mm screen. In a regular theatre, the screen would likely get cropped – Reddit users have dubbed the film ‘Croppenheimer’ for this exact reason.
Although IMAX theatres might seem like a fairly modern addition, they’ve actually been around since 1971. These theatres have a distinctly large circular dome and a flat-screen. This way you can enjoy the lifelike effects of the movies as if you are actually in the film. IMAX theatres use larger projectors than standard theatres do which means the images on the screen can be up to ten times bigger than what you see at home or in most other types of cinema presentations. There are specialist sound designers and audio system arrangements in IMAX theatres for unmistakable and robust sound. Even within IMAX, there are three projection formats: A 70 mm film system, IMAX 4K with laser and 15 perforations, and IMAX 2K Digital. Traditional theatres on the other hand only have one film format, 35 mm on a rectangular screen with a squared view.
At present, 23 IMAX theatres operate in India, mostly in metropolitan cities. With its larger screens and enhanced sound, IMAX has become a preferred destination for movie-goers in India. Still, Hyderabad’s Prasad Multiplex Theatre is the only true ‘big-screen’ IMAX theatre in the country. All others are simply digital theatres that are smaller. The screen is gigantic – the world’s largest 3D IMAX screen in fact, and almost four storeys tall with 12000 Watts of digital audio.