When you pay extra for an IMAX screen, you expect it to be ludicrously large--so vast that a six-foot man standing in the way of the screen would go nearly unnoticed--right? Well, I expect that. And so did comedian Aziz Anzari (Human Giant, Parks and Recreation), but when he went to an AMC Theatre in Burbank this weekend, he ended up paying five dollars extra for an IMAX screen only marginally bigger than usual, which the theater justified as being IMAX due to its "IMAX quality picture and sound." He complained, AMC workers refused to give any refund, he blogged about it, and now it's an internet thing.
Adding to the controversy, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond has now defended the smaller screens, saying, "The overwhelming majority of comments on that guy’s blog this morning, more than 90% of them, are vehemently disagreeing with him. And consumers are confirming this with their continued purchases of tickets."
My take: Shut up, Richard Gelfond. When you started touting your idiotic brand name (Image MAXimum!!!) a few years ago, the before-the-movie commercials I saw bragged, "THIS SCREEN IS SO BIG YOU WILL BE PLAGUED BY FEELINGS OF INADEQUACY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE," or something to that effect. I don't remember anyone adding, "Oh, and also some IMAX screens are normal size and just have a slightly better picture, but still cost a ridiculous amount of money. So watch out for those." That is some B. shit.
So, has this happened to anyone else? And does anyone actually agree with the CEO, that it's fine to advertise a screen as IMAX and then reveal it's not even giant? If so, how is it working in IMAX's fake opinion dissemination department?