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Where is the best place to sit in the cinema?

last week i went to preview it john wick 4 at Cineworld Leicester Square IMAX in London. The movie is great anyway – and if you enjoyed the first three, you’d be crazy to miss this latest installment. I’ll summarize my review simply as “Yeah…” to quote the great Keanu Reeves’ John Wick in the movie. nuff said.

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth bothering to see in IMAX, it’s worth noting that the film was partially shot with an Arri Alexa LF camera, which is part of the “Filmed for IMAX” program. The film is not formatted for IMAX – it is the regular 2.29:1 aspect ratio – probably because its preference was to shoot anamorphic, as indicated by the use of the Arri ALFA anamorphic lens. That’s not to say it doesn’t clear up well on IMAX – far from it – it looks majestic. Indeed, the size of the Leicester Square IMAX screen and auditorium was a perfect match for the grandeur of the venues and the ballistic, relentless action.

However, there was a problem. When I usually go to cinema hall the seat is already booked but on this occasion, as it was a preview, I didn’t realize that your name has to be on the list to get it, but the seat Was on first come. first served basis. As such, for the first time in many visits to Leicester Square IMAX, I was not able to sit in the central block, but I had to make do with a seat. It was actually so far to the right, that it was beyond the edges of the screen. And considering that the Leicester Square IMAX boasts the widest IMAX screen in the country, that’s saying something. I wasn’t the happiest, but it was my fault so I had to make do. As the film began without any advertising or fanfare (sadly, it wasn’t the official premiere, at the same venue as the cast appearance a few days later), I looked to my left at the packed auditorium and felt myself Instead of being in the room itself, there was a room full of people watching the movie.

I sat where I was, fearing the worst, but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I feared. That’s not to say it was perfect. At first, naturally, as I was at an angle, the perspective of the frame looked a bit odd. Second, there was some variation in color and contrast, making it difficult to pick out details in darker areas of the image. Third, was the audio. The IMAX doesn’t have any sub-woofers, but still produces a tremendous bass because each speaker is full-range, and huge. I was sitting very close to one and, naturally, its output dominated proceedings: I can practically still feel the pulsating rhythms in the club scene playing in my ears.

Ultimately then, while I still had a good time at the movies, if the central block in the cinema is full, I’ll pick a later date and get a better seat if possible.

Sure, I’ve had some bad experiences when it comes to seating. Leaving to book a friend for The Northman last year, I was surprised to find myself seated in the back row on the left, near the rear speakers, and with a projection booth tucked into the room to my right. Was. I could almost see the right edge of the screen. that was weird.

All other bad experiences that come are the dreaded front row. It may be well known that the front row of cinema is not great. I’ve sat front row at IMAX a couple of times and it’s not great. Don’t Look Up would be an appropriate movie to watch in that case.

Which, then, leads me to that perennial discussion – where is the best place to sit at the cinema? The answer depends on the nature of the room and your preferences. As we’ve established, the front row of IMAX isn’t great because of the huge screen. You’ll be craning your neck and looking left and right to get everything in – it’s not comfortable. Some go to the other extreme and go for the back row. Yes, you can have the whole screen in your line of sight, but you have to think about the sound.

If you’re in the back row of a cinema, you’re too close to the last speaker and won’t enjoy the balance of sound in the mix. Some say in the center row in the central block – and while this may be optimal for audio from my experience in most IMAX theaters, that’s still too close to the screen. I like about two-thirds down the front, bang in the middle. You want to be looking at the middle of the screen, or right above and still within the sound bubble from the side and rear speakers. You’re also so close that the screen fills your peripheral vision.

However, when implementing two-thirds of my form on a standard screen I notice that because of that small screen, he is far behind – so the middle is way off the front.

Some want to be at the end of an aisle to avoid noisy diners or to be able to easily exit when needed, but this is only ideal for practical reasons and there is a lot of compromise in the audio/visual department. This only makes sense if you have small children to deal with or a weak bladder.

So, while John Wick 4 was good enough to appreciate from afar in IMAX, I’d make sure you come in and book when you want to see a movie or you’ll be left out front—and a wag on Reddit. Despite declaring that this is the best seat because you get to watch the movie in front of everyone else in the room, your neck will appreciate waiting a few more trillionths of a second and sitting back a little more.

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