IMAX vs Standard: Difference Between Imax and Standard (2023)

IMAX vs Standard

The film industry is one of the important industries of a country. Sometimes a movie can show the viewer a country’s social situation. A country’s social, lifestyle, culture, and economic condition can be judged by the quality of movies of that country. There are a lot of things like story, song, casting, and a combination of many elements to measure the quality of a movie.

These have become secondary elements in this new era, and the quality of videos and sounds is getting the main priority. Most people are now going to different multiplexes, theaters, or cinema halls to watch 3D movies. That’s why theater owners are trying to transform their theater’s viewing materials from standard or old to the latest technologies supported.

Recently, there are many various technologies to give the audience a more elegant and realistic feeling of the movie. You may hear about IMAX, and it is one of these technologies that bring a new experience to the audience. It allows viewing movies with higher picture quality by increasing the size of the screen and the number of pixels.

As a new technology, IMAX comes with a larger screen, higher sound, and picture quality. The main difference between a standard or regular screen and an IMAX screen is that Imax screens are larger and approximately six times larger than regular screens. At the theater, a standard screen has restricted and traditional pixel resolution. Compared to regular screens, Imax screens are far better in the context of audio and visual representation quality.

If you are a movie lover and have a habit of watching movies at the theaters, then it would be helpful to you to get the best viewing experience if you understand the differences between the regular and Imax screens. In this article, you will get to know how different it is to watch a movie on a regular screen and an Imax screen.

About IMAX Cinema

This theater technology is not new in this area; it was introduced in 1971. But at that time, that was not that popular; it started to flourish in the 2000s. In the beginning, nature films are shown by using these theaters. But it develops its own technology, and now different types of visual films can be shown on these screens. According to Imax data, there are about 1500 Imax theaters in eighty countries worldwide.

In Imax theaters, you can enjoy the realistic effects of the movies as like you are present in the movie because it has a big rounded dome and flat screen. To produce this amazing feeling, these theaters need to perform on linear polarization technologies and have to use advanced cameras.

Another benefit of these theaters is that you can watch the movie clearly from a wider angle. In this special feature, the scene from one point of view can be viewed from all sides. It is possible because of the enlarged pictures separated from the right and left eye point of view.

There are specialized sound engineers and sound system arrangements in Imax theaters for crystal clear and powerful sound.

About Standard Cinema

Standard theaters are the traditional theaters that are found in all cities and even in the rural and underdeveloped areas. These theaters are running from the beginning of the film industry. They used the old technologies, but as time progressed, these theaters also developed their technologies.

They bring changes in cameras, equip the latest cameras, and add some modern entertainment techniques in the cinema halls. That’s why now these theaters are popular for 2D movies. You can enjoy the movies of the ’80s and ’90s more thoroughly.

You have to sit in front of the screen to watch the movie clearly because, in these theaters, screens are straight and plain. You can’t expect high-resolution picture quality from these theaters because they can incorporate only a limited range of pixels and resolutions.

Difference Between IMAX and Standard Cinema

IMAX vs. Standard
  • Imax was introduced in the industry in 1971 by IMAX corporation, which is a Canadian theatre company. It was introduced to simplify the use of high-resolution videos to the audience using the latest technologies. On the other hand, Standard theaters are available in the industry for a very long time.
  • Standard theaters provide traditional screen cinematography with limited pixel resolution. Imax is popular for its large screen, which produced a wide film format. It is ten times bigger than standard theater and also gives you high-quality sound and video.
  • As we already stated that Imax is six times larger than a standard screen. It provides high-resolution video quality. While Standard theatre screens for their ultrawide displays are common with an aspect ratio of 16:9, Imax comes with an aspect ratio of 1.43:1 or 1.90:1. Its large and dome circular screen involves the whole theatre.
  • There are three types of projection formats that Imax follows in different products and have a 70 mm film system. They are Imax 4K including laser, 15 perforations, and Imax 2K Digital. But Standard theaters has only one film format that is 35 mm on a rectangular screen, and its view is squared.

IMAX sound vs Standard sound

The Imax audio department is the only thing that is dependent on the size of the room. But as IMAX says, its sound system is a mixture of accurately tuned sound systems and precise speaker orientation. That’s why there is no point in the cinema hall having bad audio, no matter how far you sit from the speakers.

It is necessary to re-record the dialogues of the movie actors to provide the best sound quality to the audience in the theatre at the time of remastering of cinema pieces. The sound of the Imax theatre can be immersive because about 12-channel or mostly 6-channel sound systems are used in the Imax theatre, which gives unsophisticated sounds. But it normally varies on the properties of different theatre rooms.

Though there are various types of sound systems used on Standard theatres, most Standard theatres are using 5.1 or the same kind of sound systems. The sound quality is average, but it is not as great and clear as an Imax theatre sound quality. The main difference between an Imax theatre sound and a Standard theatre sound is the lack of constant guidelines for the characteristics of their sound objects.

IMAX 3D vs Standard 3D

In the standard or conventional 3D, you can perceive the small elements pretty well, but in Imax 3D, you will have the capability to identify the large objects more preciously.

It is the same principle of its digitalization that Imax is used to develop its 3D technology. Imax produces the perfect picture quality using the combination of two different projectors’ images. For 3D technology, Imax uses the characteristics of the human eye, simulates it, and the functioning of the projector depends on that.


After learning the different characteristics of the Standard and Imax theaters, it is understandable that Imax is far better and gives more advantages than Standard theaters. Imax is growing in popularity for its amazing picture and sound quality.

In conclusion, we can identify that screens are placed at the center of the room in Standard theatres while Imax screens are set up to the whole wall. Fifty thousand watts of Xenon Bulb is used to project the film in Imax theatre, which is super bright and provides a clearer, better picture with a high resolution. But in the Standard Theatre, the light is less bright, and that’s why the picture quality has a limited resolution.

As for sounds, there is no question that Imax sound is ahead of any Standard sounds. In Imax theatres, the picture resolution is increased with the enhanced audio effects; that’s why it will not create any problems for the eye and ears of the audience.

At last, if you look at the higher cost of an Imax theatre than a Standard theatre, it is worth watching a movie with perfect picture quality and sound effects.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

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