Not everything in Manhattan
that is famous is all that great. A
perfect example of an over- hyped
attraction is the Sony IMAX Theatre.
First of all, the IMAX experience is
expensive, generally more than movies in regular theaters, even though most IMAX offerings are considerably shorter, often lasting about an hour.
Secondly, the 3-dimensional effects do
not represent any great leaps forward in
technology. In fact, the effects are no
better than anything we saw twenty years
ago in standard movie theaters while
wearing cheap plastic 3-D glasses.
The headsets that IMAX
requires you to wear are somewhat awkward
and it takes a few minutes to adjust to
them. Finally, the movies are of very
inconsistent quality (see below).
A Few Redeeming
All of this is a shame, since Sony
clearly went out of its way to build a
very impressive theater. The screen is
HUGE, although we suspect it may be a
story or two short of its claimed 8 story
height. The auditorium is steeply tiered
so no one's head gets in your way, and
the comfortable seats offer plenty of leg
room. The entire facility is bright and
cheery enough to make Disney World proud
(although it was not Disney-clean on a
recent Sunday night).
If you do go to the IMAX,
there is no need to scramble to a seat in
the middle of the theater. We sat in
different locations each time we went and
found the 3-D effects to be similar no
matter where we were. Nonetheless, the
IMAX staff encourages everyone to
gravitate to the center and the top of
the theater, even when the movie is not
If you get the IMAX itch, keep in mind
that Sony is not the only IMAX game in
town: the American Museum of Natural History has an IMAX theater offering films
similar to those found on the Discovery
The Sony IMAX Theater is
located on Broadway at 68th Street. Call
(212) 336-5000 for information.
The American Museum of
Natural History is on Central Park West
at 79th Street. Call (212) 769-5650 for