Anchorage’s IMAX Theater Review (The “EAR-MAX”)

Anchorage’s newest movie theater is called the IMAX; “EYE-MAX” should really be called the “EAR-MAX.”

After taking our seats, which were luxurious, undoubtedly the best seats in town, I leaned over towards our neighbor and asked him if he had ever been to an IMAX before, and his response was quite revealing: “You mean the real IMAX?”

What his comment revealed is that Anchorage’s IMAX does not live up to expectations. Certainly, it is the best picture in town and it is a very nice screen but it’s certainly is not up to expectations. IMAX movie screens in the lower 48 are all extended. They go overhead and wraparound side to side so that in order to take in the picture one has to move one’s head constantly. It is impossible in a real IMAX to get the full picture at any instant because the wrap around screen is so hugely immersive. But Anchorage’s newest IMAX is disappointing: it is just a nice full screen that is typical of theatres in the lower 48.

Nonetheless, the sound is gorgeous, or rather, would be gorgeous were it not so bombastic. I think the only time my ears have hurt so much was when I was attending rock concerts or playing myself on stage in the 70’s! Live music may be loud but Anchorage’s newest theater, the IMAX must rival even jets upon takeoff. Therefore, I think that Anchorage’s newest theater would be perhaps better known as the “EAR-MAX.”

But it begs the question: is a seat in Anchorage’s newest theater worth the $6.50 surcharge per seat? The answer: no. Certainly, it is worth a couple of extra bucks above the standard movie fare because of its screen image, sound and luxurious seats, but it doesn’t merit a surcharge of almost 70%.

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