If there were ever a blockbuster movie that asked to be seen in IMAX, it's "The Dark Knight Rises." Christopher Nolan shot nearly half of the movie on super-high-resolution IMAX film, which the New York Times' Mekado Murphy explains is nine times as big as traditional 35 mm film stock. But if you want to see the movie the minute it's released, at midnight on July 20, in IMAX, you'd better have bought tickets already.
Why? Almost every single midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at American theaters that use top-of-the-line IMAX film projectors is sold out. All the showings in New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio and Massachusetts -- to name a few -- are sold out.
The big problem is that there are very few film IMAX theaters in operation: 103 in America and 201 globally. (So not quite as few as Murphy claimed; he said there were "a few more than 100 worldwide.") Moreover, any of those that are open are found in museums, aquariums and zoos, and so only screen nature documentaries.
That means that there are just 67 film IMAX theaters in the country that will be showing "The Dark Knight Rises" in its full IMAX glory. Of those, six don't have midnight showings and 49 others are already sold out at midnight.
Still, that leaves a full 12 IMAX film theaters that had tickets available on Friday afternoon! Here's the list:
- McWane Science Center, Birmingham, AL
- U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL
- Desert IMAX Theater, Cathedral City, CA
- Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Norwalk, CT
- Rave Buckland Hills 18 & IMAX, Manchester, CT
- National Air and Space Museum Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, Washington, DC
- IMAX Theatre at Patriot Park, Columbus, GA
- AMC Star Council Bluffs 17 & IMAX, Council Bluffs, IA
- National Amusements Providence Place Cinemas 16 & IMAX, Providence, RI
- Moody Gardens Giant Screen Theater, Galveston, TX
- Santikos Palladium IMAX, San Antonio, TX
- AMC Star Fitchburg 18 & IMAX, Fitchburg, WI
So if you're committed to the idea of seeing this movie as soon as you can in the highest possible resolution, and don't want to pay $100 for second-hand tickets to a sold-out show on Stubhub, which one of that dirty dozen should you opt for?
For our money, we vote for the US Space and Rocket Center in Hunstville, Alabama. That's right: Space Camp has an IMAX Theatre. Tickets in the 204-seat theater are only $10, the lowest of the theaters with available tickets. As of 6 pm Eastern Time, there were a whopping 150 unsold tickets for Friday's midnight showing. And, in case you missed it the first time, it's Space Camp! G-force simulators! Freeze-dried ice cream! Totally worth the 17-hour drive from New York.