'Star Trek' Is Way Fool: The IMAX Experience

Well, they got me. I've always been a proponent of truth in advertising, so this newspaper blurb for "Star Trek" has things stated exactly right.

Here's what caught my eye and lured me to the theatre:


So, I did. I drove the 62 miles to the AMC Barrett Commons 24, north of Atlanta, and, indeed, I experienced "Star Trek" in IMAX for a limited time.

The problem is it is the recently installed digital IMAX projection that is "limited."

And done intentionally to dupe customers!

We, the audience, are having "a limited time," as in "an inadequate, short, cramped, diminished, faulty, ineffectual, insufficient, little, mean, minimal, narrow, paltry, poor, reduced, restricted, small, unsatisfactory time."* Our viewing session is flaccid.

I learned later upon research, nicely explained in this article, "Is IMAX the Next 'New Coke'?" from "LF Examiner," "The Independent Journal of the Large Format Motion Picture Industry," that AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas have stooped to join the scheme of the once respectable IMAX firm.

Their plot is to put significantly downscaled screens and projection into wee, lacking auditoriums not constructed for the huge IMAX experience typified in the 80-by-60-foot images (or larger!) as have been standard in true IMAX outlets for years and years, building the IMAX brand and the public's expectations.

Next, they slap the IMAX name to their on-the-cheap renovations and raise your ticket prices to a premium. You, the public, after all, are idiots. That's exactly what they think of you. Look what you pay for their snack bar hijackings.

Being a professional projectionist, my lifelong trade, I can easily say these new, digital IMAX operations (not the superior 15/70mm film outlets) are, comparatively, like looking at a copier snapshot print-out instead of a beautifully detailed wall portrait.

I'll be the first to admit the digital IMAX presentations are a vast improvement over what you'll see up on the screens inside most multiplex auditoriums of the 21st century. I was thrilled on one hand for the boost, but the nefarious practice of forcing customers to pay an admission surcharge -- in my case, $4 per ticket -- expecting definitive IMAX is a scam!

We're told the ticket increase is for the honor of viewing IMAX, but these installations are not full-featured IMAX, they are IMAX Lite, as I've named it. Other unhappy customers, writing online, refer to the hoax as "Fake IMAX" and, the technically accurate, "Bullshit IMAX."

When you are being chumped a full IMAX surcharge for an inferior product without forewarning, that is fraud. I'm up for a class action suit, if anyone cares to start one.

Being as I write about humor, that would be funny.

I've worked for a wide, crusty crowd of disreputable theatre executives over the decades, but these IMAX cheats, once my projection heroes, are despicable, whoring weasels.

That goes for you, too, AMC and Regal.

Good gracious, don't get me started on Regal Cinemas!

Beware at a theatre near you.

*Thanks, Thesaurus.com
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