THE big screen experience is about to get a whole lot bigger in South Yorkshire - with the first giant-sized IMAX screen under construction at Sheffield’s Cineworld, writes digital editor Graham Walker
And cinema-goers will not believe their eyes or ears when they experience Batman, Spider-man and other new blockbuster movies bursting out of the screen in glorious 3D, say bosses at the at Valley Centertainment complex.
The screen itself, one of the biggest IMAX screens anywhere, will be a massive 70ft wide and 39ft 5in high - more than two-and-a-half times the length of a double-decker bus and not far off three times as high.
The screen - currently under construction in the cinema’s largest 585-seat Screen Seven auditorium - is also being brought closer to the audience and curves slightly, to fill the viewer’s entire peripheral vision.
So when you are sitting in your seat you simply cannot see anything but the screen. All in high definition.
Then add 3D and the latest state-of-the-art digital surround sound and as Andy Meakin, Sheffield’s Cineworld operations manager, says: “You don’t feel like you’re just watching the film - you feel you’re actually in it.
“I’ve just been to a preview at our Edinburgh branch.
“One of the trailers I was shown was for the new Men In Black movie, where somebody jumps off the side of a building. It was as though you could feel the ground rushing up towards you. And the sound on impact was amazing
“I’ve never experienced anything like it before.”
Sheffield cinema audiences brave enough can give it a go when new sci-fi action adventure John Carter makes IMAX history there, on Friday, March 9, at 11.30am.
But first, the cinema has to get the two-ton IMAX projector into the building - it is so big it will be craned in through the roof next week.
Audiences will have to pay for the privilege of watching IMAX films, with tickets at £12.40 for adults, or £10.20 for seniors and students - £4.50 more than the standard price - although 3D glasses, which must be returned, will be free.
Andy believes it will be so popular that tickets to guarantee a seat for the IMAX screenings will have to be booked in advance - especially as Sheffield’s Cineworld is one of the country’s most popular cinemas, with about 1.8 million visits a year.
Movie fans will be spoilt for IMAX features which this year including Titanic 3D, Wrath of the Titans 3D, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-man, new Batman film Dark Knight Rises and the next James Bond blockbuster, Skyfall.
For information and bookings visit www.cineworld.co.uk
n Keep reading The Star for your chance to attend the John Carter IMAX gala launch night at Sheffield Cineworld.