Cinema Craic: Experience The Magic

In Features by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

It’s all about the experience. Going to see a film has always been a social activity and despite the growth in home cinema setups, the thrill of watching a movie with mates never seems to get old.

Recently, though, going to the cinema has become something more. It isn’t enough to have seen the latest film – you have to have seen it at midnight, in costume, with your mates in tow, and enough greasy and sugary snacks on board to sink a battleship. And while fiddling with your phone is quite definitely a hanging offence, cheering the heroes and booing the bad guys is not only OK. It’s all part of the experience.

Watching Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them at the BFI IMAX over the weekend highlighted just how much of a thing this new style of experience cinema has become. Because you don’t go an IMAX simply to see a movie. You go to experience one.

Fantastic Beasts continues the trend of film studios incorporating IMAX DNA into major blockbusters. This means that Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them includes special – and exclusive – 3D frame breaks.

Recently we’ve become used to 3D that looks like lame, lenticular cereal-packet-gifts. A film that uses 3D to actually enhance the storytelling is a magical thing – and Fantastic Beasts gets it spot on, transporting fans into the wizarding world like never before. The result is a more immersive, engaging, and fun audience experience in which spells and magical creatures appear to zoom around the auditorium, eliciting gleeful squeaks from the audience.

On top of that there’s that big, big screen. Size matters and the IMAX is designed fill your field of vision. When that flying Thunderbird swoops overhead, you can really see just how immense it is.

But let’s get back to the whole experience cinema thing. Cinemas like the IMAX give audiences a lot more bang for their buck – including exclusive scenes and effects.  Let’s face it, you can’t get more ‘blockbuster’ than a 3D film viewed on some of Britain’s largest cinema screens. However, it’s not just the visuals that make an impact. It’s whole atmosphere. Photos in a special Fantastic Beasts booth in the foyer, exclusive tickets and booklets for audiences attending the first screening, and a personal introduction to the film, really does add to that communal feeling. If cinema is the new rock and roll then the IMAX is one gig you don’t want to miss.