There’s Too Many Cinema Formats For Avatar Movie Theaters

avatar movie theater

Avatar movie theater – Back in the day that meant one thing: IMAX. IMAX has been considered the best in movies for three decades, and it certainly does have its fans, I am one of them. Yet today there is a lot of competition, so I have taken the time-consuming trouble to research and test out all of them in order to give you a better feel for what your choices are like. Here is all about Avatar movie theater:

Digital or Standard 

This is a simple old movie screen. Size changes, as do amenities and seating arrangements. They offer RealD 3D, the kind of 3D or non-3D. This should be your decision of last resort.

AMC Laser 

This format started rolling out in California this year, so I will keep this brief. This is an upgrade on standard screens, with a crisper and clearer display. Digital will be replaced by laser as the standard.

D-Box, MX4D, and 3D 4DX

It seems that many want their movies to be like rides at Universal Studios. MX4D and 4DX  add smell, fog, and water effects. But D-Box is only a moving seat. This is a bad way to watch the complete movie but in my opinion.


RPX is Regal’s high-grade large format. They are 40×60 and that is all there is to it. They use digital projectors may be with Dolby Atmos sound (but not always), and for 3D, usually RealD 3D. RPX’s recliners are a step up from the normal Regal seating, but it is just a minor improvement over basic digital.


These are leftovers from when AMC purchased Carmike Cinemas, and there are only 30 of left in the US. They got big plushy seats not recliners, screens which are floor-to-ceiling bigger than average, and superior sound. If you have one of these, chances are pretty good that you also have a better-than-average AMC choice.

AMC Prime

The original premium format at AMC was Prime, which has mostly gone the way of Dolby screens in recent years. In fact, prime screens are smaller Dolby screens. These all have built-in recliners with subwoofers, most feature Dolby Atmos sound, and many boast two digital projectors. The biggest letdown, of course, is that they use ageing RealD 3D.

Cinemark XD

This is the premium format, if you happen to live near a Cinemark. The only premium screens certified by THX are Cinemark XD, with 11.1 channel sound. Yet some have recliners, others just the standard Avatar movie theatres.


This panoramic screen which is  270 degrees looks like 3 gaming monitors stuck together. The format is very popular around the world, with more than 349 screens. As an even bigger ultrawide fan, I am curious (is that the right word?), but probably not for a first-time viewing.


All right, here we go to the real goodies. Of course not all IMAX are equal. Real IMAX screens have a 1.90:One aspect ratio is longer than other screens, with a height-to-width ratio of 59×79 feet. They even have their own scaled-down versions (affectionately known as LieMAX). Nowadays IMAX screens aren’t all identical either.

If it is Avatar you are after, look for IMAX with Laser 3D. You will get the most advanced technology of laser projection along with upgraded 3D by IMAX. If you really want to ensure that what you are getting is the best possible experience, see if local screen of IMAX uses dual laser or single laser. However, dual laser IMAX can only check action scenes at 2K rather than at a high frame rate (48fps) as in Avatar. This will give you the best viewing experience, a single laser setup.

Some FAQs

What is the best cinema format to see Avatar in?

Cameron has framed the image such that all IMAX avatar movie theatres will show the movie in the 1.90: 1 aspect ratio. In other words, IMAX will provide a taller image than normal wide-screen “scope” screens and that alone will make it the default choice for many.

In what format should I watch Avatar?

Avatar is meant to be seen on a different aspect ratio, 1.90: 1/1.85:1. Go here to see a side-by-side comparison of Avatar in both aspect ratios. The 1.90:The 1/1.85:1 aspect ratio means that you can view the picture James Cameron intended.

Should I see Avatar in 2d or 3D?

But unless you live in a metropolis, any of these may not enable you to see it in its finest 3D form. There is no wrong way to watch Avatar: The Way of Water, but if you can see it in 3D then you really must.