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Pictures of screenings of TFA, R1 and TLJ in 35mm / 70mm / Dolby Cinema?

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Hi!

I often visit this site and marvel myself at the beauty of the pictures of the 35mm screening in Baltimore a few years back. I saw ROTJ when it premiered in Portugal in the fall of '83 but I was 5 so I hardly have any memories.

The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and I’m assuming The Last Jedi were also screened in film in a few select locations. Does anyone know where to find pictures ?

Likewise, has anyone seen nice pictures of a 2D Dolby Cinema screening?

I watched TLJ at a regular 2K local cinema the day it premiered (first screening at 10am 😄 ) but I was very disappointed by the image quality. 😦
I went again to a different theater with a Dolby Atmos setup (audio only, not Dolby Vision image too) but again the image (2K DCP) quality was disappointing.

I also like reading about people’s experiences going to a special screening of SW such as this 70mm one so I was wondering where to find pics. I know looking at pics taken inside a theater isn’t very meaningful but I’m just curious if there are any decent ones around.

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The Senator screening notwithstanding, theaters usually frown on taking photos of the screen for legal reasons. I know people did sneak photos in the old days as it was discussed in Starlog magazine once.

I’ve been fortunate to have seen all three films to date at a 70mm IMAX venue in San Jose.
https://www.thetech.org/imax/presentations
It still beats the pants off every digital presentation I’ve seen. The print for TLJ seemed unusually dark in places though.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Thanks for replying 😄

Yeah that makes sense and I hadn’t thought about it.

Lucky you!!! So they actually printed Rogue One and The Last Jedi in 15/70mm even though Rogue One had no IMAX sequences whatsoever, and The Last Jedi had some but they were left out of the final theatrical cut which were leaked here as you might know. I’m curious as to what the rationale of leaving those out was.

I wonder if there were any 5/70mm prints for non-IMAX vertical projectors?

Have you ever been to IMAX 4K Laser screenings in big screens able to display full 1.43 AR IMAX? I live in France and there’s both a 2K LieMAX and a brand spanking new Dolby Cinema theater but they often screen 3D and / or French dubbing and awww hell naw there’s noooo way I’ll ever watch anything dubbed. 😦 😦

Edit: IMDB says “70mm horizontal” so there you go, question answered. Ditto for Rogue One

Edit 2: does Digital Laser IMAX actually use 1.43 AR or is that 70mm film only and digital IMAX is 1.85 tops?? This is so confusing.

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Does TFA have any IMAX sequences?

Edit: I have no clue what any of that means by the way, all I know is that IMAX is when in Chris Nolan’s movies some action scene is happening so the screen of my laptop goes full screen.

Why am I so dumb

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The escape from Jack who was shot in IMAX

Free Collipso!

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IMAX laser can be the full 1.43:1 ratio or it can be it can be cropped vertically to 1.9:1. You just have to ask the specific theater to find out.

I saw TFA in full 70mm IMAX in Indianapolis and it was glorious.

I saw Rogue One in standard digital IMAX 3-D, but on a full size IMAX screen (not a post-converted “LieMAX” Screen) in Phoenix. I was actually surprised at how good it looked. Far and away the best 3-D presentation I’ve ever seen. It was a surprisingly enjoyable and memorable experience. Though I’ll admit I was glad I had already seen the film twice in 2-D previously, so I was able to really focus on enjoying the 3-D part of the viewing experience.

I saw Dunkirk in Austin, TX on a full size 1.43:1 IMAX Laser (actually the biggest screen in TX) as my first experience seeing IMAX Laser. I was rather surprised that, as far as I could tell, it was every bit as good as 70mm IMAX film. Just beautiful.

And that experience led to me seeing TLJ at that same IMAX laser theater. I’d have loved to see both Dunkirk and The Last Jedi on IMAX film, but the nearest theater for that was 5 hours away. As it was I had to drive two hours just to get to the laser theater.

Based on these experiences (and seeing The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar all on 70mm IMAX film) I’d definitely say if you have the chance to see a movie on actual IMAX film, do it! It’s amazing! If you’re a serious film nut (like me) it’s worth driving as far as you have to at least once. If you can’t do that, imax laser is actually a very close second. If you decide to see something in 3-D, Imax 3-D (even if it’s just the regular dual 2K IMAX projectors) is the best I’ve seen.

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Boushh said:

Thanks for replying 😄

Yeah that makes sense and I hadn’t thought about it.

Lucky you!!! So they actually printed Rogue One and The Last Jedi in 15/70mm even though Rogue One had no IMAX sequences whatsoever, and The Last Jedi had some but they were left out of the final theatrical cut which were leaked here as you might know. I’m curious as to what the rationale of leaving those out was.

I wonder if there were any 5/70mm prints for non-IMAX vertical projectors?

Have you ever been to IMAX 4K Laser screenings in big screens able to display full 1.43 AR IMAX? I live in France and there’s both a 2K LieMAX and a brand spanking new Dolby Cinema theater but they often screen 3D and / or French dubbing and awww hell naw there’s noooo way I’ll ever watch anything dubbed. 😦 😦

Edit: IMDB says “70mm horizontal” so there you go, question answered. Ditto for Rogue One

Edit 2: does Digital Laser IMAX actually use 1.43 AR or is that 70mm film only and digital IMAX is 1.85 tops?? This is so confusing.

It depends on the theater and the film. I’ve only been to one laser showing and it was for TLJ. The film was a consistent 2.35:1 the whole time, but as far as I’m aware it’s that way across the board, for every format. The screen I saw it on looked to me like it was 1.90:1, although I don’t know if you could call it lieMAX because it’s one of the biggest screens in the country. I didn’t get the chance to see Dunkirk in laser but from my understanding it was in the proper 1.43:1.

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Collipso said:

Does TFA have any IMAX sequences?

Edit: I have no clue what any of that means by the way, all I know is that IMAX is when in Chris Nolan’s movies some action scene is happening so the screen of my laptop goes full screen.

Why am I so dumb

The entirety of the Falcon escape from Jakku was shot in IMAX, although the blu-ray and digital releases keep the 2:35:1 crop.

IMAX is essentially a large capture format. Usually when people say IMAX, they mean IMAX 70mm film. In simplest terms, when movies are typically shot on film, they are shot on 35mm. IMAX provides better picture quality and often, depending on whether the director want to use it or not, a taller aspect ratio. Dunkirk, for example, had 75% of its runtime shot on IMAX, which meant if you went to the right screen to see it, then for 75% of the film the majority of what your eye was seeing was the movie (hence “IMAX”).

Couple useful images:


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By the way, a picture of an IMAX or Dolby screen most likely isn’t going to be able to represent what the image quality was actually like, especially if it’s a picture snapped on a phone.

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When I saw R1 last year there was an almost ten minute preview of Dunkirk, and the aerial sequences were stunning. When that pilot runs out of gas I felt the terror of having to ditch in the drink. That IMAX dome also has the best sound system I’ve heard in long time. The crashed TIE exploding in TFA made me jump each time.

Would like to try out the laser projection system, but I’d have to go down to L.A. to get to one. Maybe for Han Solo since it won’t be coming out around the usual time I take my annual vacation up north. I’d be crazy to travel 300 miles just to see a movie on 70mm film? 😛

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Yay! I’m happy my post sparked interest even though we’re slightly moved away from the topic but nevertheless this discussion is super exciting too 😄

So check this out, Dunkirk had not 2, or 3, but 4 (!) theatrical aspect ratios, what a mess!!! AND a 5th one, 16:9 1.77 for the home releases.

Aspect Ratio
1.43 : 1 (most scenes: IMAX 70mm and IMAX Laser venues)
1.78 : 1 (most scenes: IMAX version - Blu-ray & DVD)
1.90 : 1 (most scenes: IMAX digital venues)
2.20 : 1
2.20 : 1 (70mm prints & DCP ratio: constant width venues)
2.39 : 1 (35mm prints & DCP ratio: constant height venues)

So yeah 1.43 isn’t exclusive to 70mm IMAX, Laser ones can do it too.
I think LieMAX screens are 1.85 (aka 1.89 / 1.90) maximum.

Did y’all know that the original theatrical release of Star Wars (i dislike referring to it as “ANH” or “Ep IV” haha) in 70mm was 2.20 whereas the 35mm one was 2.35 (aka 2.39)? I just found out about this 1h ago. Is that because of the 6 audio tracks taking extra space on the sides?

Man, I wish I had the opportunity to experience 15/70mm IMAX or 5/70 film, but I don’t see that happening. 😦 There’s ONE cinema left in France with a 5/70 horizontal projector, in Normandy. There is AT LEAST one 4K Laser IMAX theater for the time being, in Montpellier. I don’t see myself going to any. Not even the Cinémathèque in Paris has a 70mm projector anymore AFAIK. 😦
Man, I even wish I was able to go to 35mm screenings but those seem nowhere to be found either. 😦
I found out yesterday that this theater in London has an amazing program every month with tons of great movies in 35 and 70mm…!! So jealous! HOLY SHIT TERMINATOR 2 IN 70mm TOMORROW!!!

My best chance of watching something special is the local Dolby Cinema theater, if I’m feeling like a big spender AND they show some movie that i might be interested in, in 2D AND English audio. Perhaps Black Panther? Hard to say as they tend to be 3D / dubbed. 😦
I also found out that some recent movies are shown in 1.85 in IMAX (including LieMAX) theaters and 2.35 in all other theaters, including Dolby Cinema (!!) ones. So IMAX has exclusive rights to… 26% more picture even though other theaters could display that too. Wth… lol!?

“When you see Blade Runner 2049 in IMAX this weekend, you’ll experience more of the action than in any other format. Only in IMAX will the entire film be specially formatted and presented in an expanded 1.9:1 aspect ratio. This means that the movie will fill more of the screen, and fans will see 26% more of the image in IMAX than standard theatres.”

@ Collipso: TFA had one single IMAX sequence and you can see the difference between the regular scope version and the full IMAX 1.43 images here
If IMDB is right, there were no IMAX Laser versions back then and thus 1.43 was 15/70mm only.

DominicCobb said:

By the way, a picture of an IMAX or Dolby screen most likely isn’t going to be able to represent what the image quality was actually like, especially if it’s a picture snapped on a phone.

Yeah, i know. The Baltimore Senator ones are super nice though. I was kinda hoping for something similar.
And yes, The Last Jedi is a fixed 2.35 scope ratio for all theaters, even though they shot more than one sequences in IMAX as you can see from those .gifs Oddly those pics are 16:9 with horizontal black bars, and the scope sequences in those pictures are 2.65 and the IMAX ones are 1.95 so I’m guessing those gifs aren’t showing the right aspect ratios.

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SilverWook said:

I’d be crazy to travel 300 miles just to see a movie on 70mm film? 😛

No you wouldn’t. I travelled from Houston to Indianapolis for TFA 70mm imax…

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Those who have had the chance to experience both 70mm IMAX and Laser you might find this interesting. According to this person, 70mm IMAX film screening isn’t as bright as laser and has poorer contrast:


But I’m not sure how he capped those stills and their small size obviously doesn’t help much.
So I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

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I wouldn’t be surprised, considering that’s basically the whole idea behind laser. It’s impossible for me to tell though as there was half a year between my most recent IMAX 70mm and IMAX laser screenings (different films too), and everything in between was just much worse projection systems. But I will say you probably won’t get an accurate representation of either on your computer monitor.

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In 2011 they held a direct, live, side-by-side comparison of 15/70 IMAX film vs 4K DLP at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX. The general consensus among the industry professionals was that the 4K image was superior. I can only imagine that Imax’s laser system is superior to that Barco DLP projector. So I don’t doubt that by standardized metrics the Laser system is technically superior to the film system.

http://www.lfexaminer.com/20110518shootout-in-galveston-1570-vs-digital.htm

But it doesn’t change the fact that imax film is flipping amazing an can resolve FAR more detail than even the best digital mediums. Whether that detail makes it to the projected image is more debatable I guess. And resolution is far from the end-all be-all of image quality. Brightness, contrast, and color reproduction are all just as important as resolution.

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canofhumdingers said:

In 2011 they held a direct, live, side-by-side comparison of 15/70 IMAX film vs 4K DLP at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX. The general consensus among the industry professionals was that the 4K image was superior. I can only imagine that Imax’s laser system is superior to that Barco DLP projector. So I don’t doubt that by standardized metrics the Laser system is technically superior to the film system.

http://www.lfexaminer.com/20110518shootout-in-galveston-1570-vs-digital.htm

But it doesn’t change the fact that imax film is flipping amazing an can resolve FAR more detail than even the best digital mediums. Whether that detail makes it to the projected image is more debatable I guess. And resolution is far from the end-all be-all of image quality. Brightness, contrast, and color reproduction are all just as important as resolution.

But does it look like film? Superior isn’t always better. And everyone involved has every reason to stack the deck in favor of digital.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

canofhumdingers said:

In 2011 they held a direct, live, side-by-side comparison of 15/70 IMAX film vs 4K DLP at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX. The general consensus among the industry professionals was that the 4K image was superior. I can only imagine that Imax’s laser system is superior to that Barco DLP projector. So I don’t doubt that by standardized metrics the Laser system is technically superior to the film system.

http://www.lfexaminer.com/20110518shootout-in-galveston-1570-vs-digital.htm

But it doesn’t change the fact that imax film is flipping amazing an can resolve FAR more detail than even the best digital mediums. Whether that detail makes it to the projected image is more debatable I guess. And resolution is far from the end-all be-all of image quality. Brightness, contrast, and color reproduction are all just as important as resolution.

But does it look like film? Superior isn’t always better. And everyone involved has every reason to stack the deck in favor of digital.

I don’t know about that shootout, but I can say that I’d be really hard pressed to say the two IMAX Laser screenings I’ve seen were in any way inferior to the numerous 15/70 screenings I’ve been to. The amateur film lover/historian/preservationist in me went into Dunkirk secretly wanting to walk out and declare film was still king, but I just couldn’t. That dual 4K projection system they’ve cooked up really impressed me. Personally, I do still prefer film and would jump at any reasonable chance to see another 15/70 screening. But realistically I’m perfectly happy to walk into a full size Imax laser screening when I want the premium theatrical experience.

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Where did they actually have 35mm showings of TFA and TLJ? I can’t find any information on them.

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Not sure there were any?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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canofhumdingers said:

SilverWook said:

canofhumdingers said:

In 2011 they held a direct, live, side-by-side comparison of 15/70 IMAX film vs 4K DLP at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX. The general consensus among the industry professionals was that the 4K image was superior. I can only imagine that Imax’s laser system is superior to that Barco DLP projector. So I don’t doubt that by standardized metrics the Laser system is technically superior to the film system.

http://www.lfexaminer.com/20110518shootout-in-galveston-1570-vs-digital.htm

But it doesn’t change the fact that imax film is flipping amazing an can resolve FAR more detail than even the best digital mediums. Whether that detail makes it to the projected image is more debatable I guess. And resolution is far from the end-all be-all of image quality. Brightness, contrast, and color reproduction are all just as important as resolution.

But does it look like film? Superior isn’t always better. And everyone involved has every reason to stack the deck in favor of digital.

I don’t know about that shootout, but I can say that I’d be really hard pressed to say the two IMAX Laser screenings I’ve seen were in any way inferior to the numerous 15/70 screenings I’ve been to. The amateur film lover/historian/preservationist in me went into Dunkirk secretly wanting to walk out and declare film was still king, but I just couldn’t. That dual 4K projection system they’ve cooked up really impressed me. Personally, I do still prefer film and would jump at any reasonable chance to see another 15/70 screening. But realistically I’m perfectly happy to walk into a full size Imax laser screening when I want the premium theatrical experience.

If my local multiplexes get them and maintain them properly, good. (I’m amazed one local theater showed The Hobbit films in that high frame rate thing.) I’ve seen enough things go wrong with digital projection as it is.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Yeah I have no trouble believing you that laser IMAX projection can offer brigher, crisper, deeper contrast than film. Not to mention HDR which is now out there, at least in Dolby Cinema.
Still there are other reasons why one might prefer film screenings over state of the art digital, i’m sure for many folks out there nostalgia and emotional value being the main one. Maybe you can perceive more grain with film? For those who like that. Also, they’re bound to disappear entirely, so grab the special chance to watch dirt, scratches, flicker and whatnot, while it lasts haha! I wish I could 😃.

I loved reading that shootout. Please tell me you have similar ones about 2K digital vs pristine 35mm print in optimal conditions? hehe
I know this is super subjective but 2K screenings disappoints me 😦 . I feel like I’m just watching a huge tv, but darker and poorer colors than one can actually have at home with a decent TV (not that I have one). 1080p in a theater screen really doesn’t seem like enough resolution. Regression?

Wazzles said:

Where did they actually have 35mm showings of TFA and TLJ? I can’t find any information on them.

I know of at least two accounts:

http://www.slashfilm.com/star-wars-the-force-awakens-in-35mm/
https://www.starwarsatthemovies.com/blog/2017/12/7/lucky-no-vii

I just had a look at IMDB and it does mention TFA was printed in both 35 and 70mm, whereas R1 and TLJ 70mm only. So can you believe how special it might have been to watch TFA in 35mm? 😃

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Boushh said:

I loved reading that shootout. Please tell me you have similar ones about 2K digital vs pristine 35mm print in optimal conditions? hehe

Well, there’s this technical article where they conducted experiments to measure the actual resolving power of 35mm film when it’s projected in a movie theater.

We all know that, when scanned, 35mm easily resolves 2K and usually can make use of 4K scanning (I’ll leave the debate open for 8K, though there’s certainly evidence that 8K scanning can be useful when using high quality 35mm film). But how much of that resolution actually makes it to the screen when thrown across the room by the projector?

According to this experiment, not a lot. They found that in a movie theater, you’re really only getting the equivalent of 685 to 875 lines of resolution up on the screen.

Now, I personally think that seems low. I’ve seen enough 35mm projections (even in this age of digital) to say that I’ve seen film projection that rivals any standard 2 or 4K movie theater. And with film you don’t have the issue of being able to see the pixels or lines of resolution (which I can regularly see clearly in standard 2K theaters… drives me nuts!)

But I’m not an expert or industry professional like the people who conducted these tests, so who knows?

http://www.motionfx.gr/files/35mm_resolution_english.pdf