Sydney IMAX to Reopen on Wednesday with a Massive Lineup

Seven years after it closed for ‘brief’ reconstruction, IMAX Sydney will officially open for business this Wednesday (October 11th). The Darling Harbour site is now operated by Event Cinemas, and devastatingly, can no longer boast of the largest cinema screen in the world. It is however home to a 29 metre wide screen, 325 seats, a full-service bar and a range of food and drink options. It is set to have a mammoth opening week with tickets for screenings of Avatar: The Way of Water, Oppenheimer, Top Gun: Maverick, The Creator and Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour already on sale.

When it opens IMAX Sydney will become one of 1700 IMAX certified screens across the globe. While the company has been around since 1968, it has exploded in popularity over the last two decades. In 2021, 20% of Dune‘s $400 million box office gross came from IMAX screens alone. While most cinemas use digital projectors, IMAX Sydney will use a 4K Laser system to project onto its 692 m2 screen. Laser allows for more vivid colours, darker blacks and brighter images than your average projector. IMAX Sydney will also have one of the world’s few 1.43:1 IMAX screens, which will allow for films shot in IMAX’s 1.43 ratio to display 40% more of the image than on a standard cinema screen. While this format is regularly used to advertise blockbuster action films, it is also used extensively in IMAX’s documentary programming.

While advertising Oppenheimer earlier this year, Filmmaker Christopher Nolan told The Associated Press, “We put a lot of effort into shooting the film in a way that we can get it out on these large format screens, It really is just a great way of giving people an experience that they can’t possibly get in the home.”

Audiences will be able to get experience more than just new releases on the big screen too. “We will be bringing the best of IMAX back” a representative for Event Cinemas told SURG, “including Top Gun: Maverick, Interstellar, Tenet and other films that people in Sydney haven’t had the chance to see in IMAX.”

IMAX sessions will have different pricing for Documentary and Feature sessions. Standard adult tickets for Documentaries start from $19 for adults and $17 for concessions, while adult tickets for features start from $38 and concessions from $29. Customers will have to pay a premium for recliners or couples recliners. For those looking for a fancy night out, a four person Private Box package, with an exclusive food and drink menu, will set you back $299.

While ticket prices have gone up across the board in recent years, $38 is barely a jump from IMAX’s $35 tickets for adults in 2016. Event Cinemas gift cards and Cinebuzz Rewards are also redeemable for discounts on the site.

The new 692 m2 screen is a step down from Sydney’s original 1056 m2 record holder, Melbourne’s 736 m2 screen and the current largest which sits at 836 m2 in Leonberg, Germany. While audiences will struggle to tell the difference between screens that large, it’s hard not to be sceptical that the original site was only demolished to allow for the addition of the fifty metres of W Hotel above it. Unfortunately, IMAX Sydney will also not have capabilities to project IMAX 70mm celluloid film.

Later this year, audiences can expect to see Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon (October 19th), Disney’s The Marvels (November 9th), The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbird & Snakes (November 16th) and Ridley Scott’s Napoleon (November 23).

Tickets are on sale now.

Update 12/10/23: A few technical details were updated to reflect the building’s specifications.

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