The Dark Knight Rises: The IMAX Experience
Running Time: 165 minutes
Saturdays and Sundays through October 7
The Dark Knight Rises, the third film of the critically acclaimed trilogy that introduces Gotham City’s newest super villains, Bane and leading lady Selina Kyle. Director Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated epic conclusion hits the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s Omni IMAX Theater on Friday, July 20 at 12:01 a.m. The film will run continuously for 27 hours straight.
Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.
As part of the festivities surrounding opening weekend of the Dark Knight Rises, the Museum will offer an Omni Store carrying Batman and Museum merchandise. Guests in costume will receive an additional 10% discount at the Omni Store during opening weekend only. Prizes and promotional items will be given away at various times throughout the weekend as well.
The Dark Knight himself will also be making appearances throughout the weekend. Starting on Friday evening Batman will be greeting all movie goers who have tickets to the midnight showing. Batman and other characters will be in the Museum on Saturday and Sunday.
The Dark Knight Rises is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language.
Why see The Dark Knight Rises in an IMAX 15/70 film theater?
Director Christopher Nolan shot about one hour of The Dark Knight Rises using IMAX 15-perf, 70mm film cameras, which expose a frame that is about ten times larger than a standard 35mm film frame. (See here for a comparison of film sizes.) The extra large frame captures much more information, permitting classic IMAX theaters to project sharp, clear images onto screens as large as 96 feet tall and 117 feet wide (29x36 meters).
Cinematographer Wally Pfister (left) and director Chris Nolan, shooting for
The Dark Knight Rises with the IMAX 15/70 camera. (Getty Images.)
In addition to being much larger, the 15/70 frame also has a different shape, or aspect ratio, from standard movies. The ratio between the width and height is 4 to 3 or 1.33 to 1, often referred to simply as 1.33. This is also the ratio of standard-definition television.
Wide-screen TV has a ratio of 16:9, or 1.78, very close to the ratio of most current Hollywood films, which is 1.85, known within the industry as “flat.” The widest Hollywood ratio is generally known as “scope,” and is 2.4. On a screen 80 feet wide, the scope image is about 33.3 feet tall.
When images of one ratio are shown on a screen of a different ratio, either some portion of the screen will not be used, or some portion of the image will not be shown. In the old days, wide-screen movies shown on television were either shown “letterboxed,” with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, or “pan and scan,” in which the image filled the height of the screen, but the sides of the image were cut off.
This is the key to what happens when The Dark Knight Rises switches from conventional 35mm footage to 15/70: the letterboxed 35mm “scope” image will expand to fill the full height of the screen. This change will occur only in IMAX theaters, but not all IMAX theaters are created equal.
In the average classic IMAX film theater with a 60x80-foot (18x24-meter) screen, the image will expand from about 33 feet high to the full 60-foot height of the screen. The effect of this dramatic transformation is the reason that Nolan reportedly insisted that Warner Bros. make at least one hundred 15/70 prints of the film.
In IMAX digital theaters, and IMAX MPX film theaters, whose average ratio is 1.75, this transition will be much less noticeable, expanding by about 4.5 feet (1.5 meters) at the top and bottom of the screen.