IMAX was roasted online by comedian Aziz Ansari, who went to the AMC Burbank IMAX theatre to see Star Trek, only to learn after he entered the auditorium that this wasn’t the IMAX he knew. Disappointed with the small size of the screen, which, by his description, was barely larger than the screen next door, he asked for a $5 refund, having paid $15 for his ticket instead of the $10 fee for a non-IMAX show. After his request was refused, Ansari complained bitterly on his blog, launching a tirade of bad press for IMAX.
Ansari experienced the new IMAX MPX digital cinema, bringing the “IMAX experience” to normal-sized auditoriums. These are retrofit installations, whereas the older IMAX design required construction of a dedicated auditorium to house the huge signature screen of old. But the IMAX of old used 15-perf film, and the IMAX of new uses dual 2K projectors. Given that AMC and Regal are each installing a large footprint of digital MPX theatres, one has to wonder what Ansari will say in the future when he learns that the digital IMAX experience is 2K, while the cheaper auditorium next door is 4K.