The action! The drama! The laughs!
Who doesn’t love movies?
For the movie fan, and in particular those who love the IMAX experience, the IMAX home theater is the true jewel in the crown of cinematic viewing.
While many families enjoy the chance to watch movies from the comfort of their own home through the use of their home theater set-up, the IMAX home theater represents the lofty heights to which only a select few may aspire. And while you may cringe at the price of your IMAX movie ticket, the cost point of the home theater version is beyond the wallets of most.
At a price of around half a million dollars, the IMAX home experience is clearly targeted to high net worth individuals. But we all can dream. So what could you expect to get in exchange for your cool $400K or more?
What Does The Theater Package Include?
Your immersive at-home IMAX theater experience offers a holistic movie-viewing sensory stimulus.
The package includes the latest in technological features including high-def curved-screen television, Blu-ray, DVD, CD, gaming, and karaoke capabilities. The system is designed to provide a multi-level entertainment experience and it does not disappoint.
The complete audio-visual combo uses innovation and cutting-edge technology to provide the viewer with sharp visuals, high-quality sound, and a user-friendly control system.
Size Does Matter
The definition of the IMAX trademark basically translates to a widescreen cinematography that is ten times larger than 35mm film. We’re talking big. So for a brand like this, you’d have to expect the home version to have a similar approach to size and scale.
If you do take the plunge into IMAX home theater ownership, you will need to set aside a dedicated room for the installation of the theater components. With three models requiring space from between 20 m2 and 150 m2, this is not the kind of home theater you can tuck away in a corner of your living room.
The IMAX models are designed to deliver quality viewing pleasure for from between 9 and 40 audience members. With these kinds of numbers, a theater room is essential.
IMAX Home Theater Models
The IMAX home theater is available in three models, from the “basic” Prestige to the optimum Platinum. The Prestige model is best suited for audiences of up to nine viewers and requires a dedicated space of between 20-40 m2.
The next step up is the Palais, requiring a theater space of between 45-70 m2. The Palais model is marketed as the ideal choice for close family and friends.
For an experience closest to a commercial theater, the Platinum model is the elite choice. This model will cost the buyer around $1 million and will provide viewing pleasure for audiences of up to 40 guests. Your theater room will need to be from 40-150 m2.
Privacy and Choice
To date, the IMAX home theater has enjoyed popularity in both the Middle East and China. And it’s not just because of the opportunity to demonstrate that the purchaser has money to spend on entertainment.
In a world of increasing security consciousness, the ability to watch the latest movie in the comfort and safety of your own home theater makes sense for those concerned with privacy. For many affluent individuals, it is not easy or safe to mingle with the crowds at the local movie theater.
By hosting your own movie session for hand-picked family, friends, and associates you can be sure that you’re in control of who you end up sitting next to.
Along with the superior quality of viewing made possible through IMAX at-home systems, the IMAX experience includes the chance to watch the latest movies on demand.
A set-top box (costing an additional $10,000) enables the viewer to download and watch the latest IMAX releases. While it is not essential to add this feature to your IMAX package, if you’re spending $1 million on the theater system the extra $10K will not make much of a difference.
The IMAX business model promises a complete turn-key home theater system. To facilitate this, the company offers 24/7, 365-day access to their Commercial Service Center.
IMAX’s service center provides response times of under 5 minutes, ongoing predictive maintenance, performance monitoring and tuning, and premium customer service. Their commitment is that your system will always run at its optimum level.
With the complex technology involved in this high-caliber entertainment system, access to around-the-clock professional assistance is probably a good idea.
An Eager Market
Movie watching is a pastime in hyper-growth within the Chinese marketplace. An average of 22 movie screens were built every day in China during 2015. With that kind of growth, China is poised to overtake the US in box office totals over the next few years.
As you may expect, the in-home IMAX movie experience has been well received within that country. After just ten months of the launch of the first showroom in Shanghai, 130 screens had been sold.
The theater systems are enjoying steady sales in the US but of course, these products are not pitched to the everyday consumer. So what are your alternatives if you want to enjoy the multi-level experience of your own home theater?
Alternative Home Theater Options
For those of us who enjoy movies but don’t have the bank account to support the purchase of the IMAX home theater, there are other options. For instance take a look at Sony’s latest whizz-bang projector that would burst most home theater budgets!
A more than adequate home theater can be assembled in your living room, complete with a quality home theater projector, speakers, and subwoofer to allow the full audio-visual experience. Of course, if you have the space for a dedicated viewing room all the better.
For a fully immersive movie experience, the viewer wants to feel as though they are actively there, right where the movie is playing out. Careful placement of your screen, speakers, and seating can help achieve this goal.
The design of your home theater doesn’t need to be expensive. Once you’ve selected a home theater project to meet your requirements your seating arrangements can be as simple as an old couch a few bean bags. And don’t forget the popcorn.