When you think of IMAX, you likely think of a gigantic screen that totally immerses your field of vision in cinematic awesomeness. Think again. More and more movie theaters are featuring IMAX screens shrinked and crammed into a normal-sized theater, which absolutely destroys the IMAX "immersion" concept. And even though the film is a much higher quality, you don't experience any of that quality because of the drastically reduced screen size. Not only that, but you also pay a few bucks more, discovering far too late that the screen isn't the full IMAX size.
I actually saw Star Trek in this "LIEMAX" format (as it's described by angry bloggers). When my friend and I walked into the theater, we were confused. Where was the IMAX screen? The screen seemed a bit taller, but not appreciably so. But since this was IMAX, I still expected the quality of the film to be noticably better, something like an high-def film experience. Nope... there was no difference in film quality. In fact, the screen actually had a weaker resolution than a normal digital screen. (When Kirk lifts the salt shaker in the bar, you couldn't even see the salt fall.) I'm not sure how much of the fault for the resolution problems could be placed on the theater staff, but needless to say, it was a serious disappointment.
So if you're thinking of going to a theater that claims to have IMAX screens, be sure to do your homework to make sure you know what you're getting. Check out some of the links below:
Is IMAX the Next New Coke?
An article on the smaller IMAX format with a descriptive illustration of the smaller IMAX in all its glory.
IMAX or LIEMAX?
See whether or not the theater near you is the "true" IMAX experience.
Destroy Fake IMAX
A blog dedicated to this small IMAX phenomenon.