Star Wars: The Force Awakens To Be Shown In 70MM On Only 11 Screens In The US is reporting that only 11 screens will be showing Star Wars:  The Force Awakens in the 70mm film format.  This may be good news for some of you, but a little frustrating for others.



70mm presentation has been championed by several of the film industry’s heavyweights as the best way to view their work.  Although many IMAX showings of The Force Awakens are geared up for the December release, only 11 US Theaters are scheduled to show the film in the 70mm format.  They are listed below.

McWane Center IMAX Dome Theatre – Birmingham
IMAX, U.S. Space & Rocket Center – Huntsville
Hackworth IMAX Dome, The Tech Museum – San Jose
Museum of Discovery & Science AutoNation IMAX – Ft. Lauderdale
IMAX Dome, Museum of Science & Industry – Tampa
IMAX, Indiana State Museum – Indianapolis
Blank IMAX Dome, Science Center of Iowa – Des Moines
Branson’s IMAX, Entertainment Complex – Branson
St. Louis Science Center OMNIMAX Theatre – St. Louis
Tuttleman IMAX, The Franklin Institute– Philadelphia
Boeing IMAX, Pacific Science Center – Seattle



Speaking as a science-fiction fan, I was lucky to view Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in the 70mm format when it was reissued a few years ago. IMAX is a pretty cool way to see a film, but I must say I preferred the 70mm format because the size is not as distracting as IMAX can be at times. The picture is incredibly clean and it felt, in my opinion, as an extraordinary cinematic experience. 70mm presentation may sound antiquated to some moviegoers, and that’s the only guess we can make as to why The Force Awakens will see such limited release in the format.


Hopefully, there will be second-run showings sometime in 2016 with more screens added.


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Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

43 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens To Be Shown In 70MM On Only 11 Screens In The US

  • October 30, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    saw Interstellar in 70 mm at AMC Loews Lincoln Square, the greatest in-cinema experience I ever had. so hyped for TFA in this format

    • October 30, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      I don’t understand this…I bought tickets for AMC Loews Lincoln Square specifically because it has a 70 mm projector. Why is this theater not on the list?

      • October 31, 2015 at 12:06 am

        AMC Lincoln Square NYC is in the middle of converting their projectors to IMAX Laser, Interstellar was the last 70mm 2D film to be shown there. From what I understand, the extra-large format Jakku chase sequence of TFA will NOT expand to the full screen at this location … sucks.

      • October 31, 2015 at 7:24 pm

        yea, not using it for th TFA projections seemed very odd to me as wel..

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I’m on the wrong side of the planet. Enjoy, you lucky people, whomever you are.

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Make that 12. The list is missing Washington, DC’s Lockheed Martin IMAX, National Air & Space Museum. It is listed on IMAX’s official site and also the Smithsonian’s IMAX page.

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I find it funny that all the theaters are located at space museums. Congrats to the lucky people who get to see it in these.

    I’m thinking the reason it’s 70 mm for THESE theaters in particular is because all the others are showing it only in 3D, which is done digitally.

  • October 30, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Darn! Seattle…not Portland’s IMAX at OMSI =(

  • October 31, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Seattle right here!

    • October 31, 2015 at 1:02 am

      I live in Portland and suddenly the 3 hour drive doesn’t sound that ridiculous just to watch a movie 🙂

  • October 31, 2015 at 12:33 am

    As someone who grew up going to the Space and rocket center in Huntsville AL, that’s a great theater and a fun family day to visit the S&RC. “The Dream is alive on IMAX is an amazing experience.

    If you live within 100 miles of it, go. It’s literally right off an interstate highway.

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Sorry- I love a good classic but I gotta see it in imax. I’m glad the 70 mm option is there for the die-hards. Hopefully it is shown at the chinese theater in 70 mm for the classic nostalgia, but otherwise this feels like a novelty at this point and most of the millions of people who will see this can’t tell the difference. They probbably could have done closer to 25 or even 50 screens of this and still sold out, but I guess it will be all the more exclusive to those who get into these showings.

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Two of the 11 are in….Alabama 😉

    And there’s no way that list is final. Interstellar has as many, if not more, and this is clearly a larger event than that film. The important thing is we still has the 70m projectors, and/or how cost effective it would be to bring them in.
    I, for one, hope the premiere is on an IMAX certified screen as it would be a rather wasted trip otherwise.

    • October 31, 2015 at 1:43 am

      The difference is Interstellar wasn’t a 3d film. Post converted or otherwise. So IMAX theaters capable of doing it were more inclined to show it in the 70mm format. Now with Star Wars, the 3-d premium is available and they don’t want to give that up and neither does Disney so they aren’t going to push for 70mm showings.

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:35 am

    the tuttleman imax theatre in philly still has tickets for 10:00 PM on Thursday, as well as tickets for showings Friday onward.. The theatre is in a dome shape so it feels as if you’re immersed into the film. The experience is absolutely incredible.. If anyone is in the area or driving distance, I highly recommend it. I’ll be there Thursday at 7!!! Can’t wait!!!

    • October 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      could’ve sworn imax in KOP was also full imax..

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:38 am

    If Star Wars had gone non-3d like Nolan did with Batman, there would probably be a lot more showings in 70MM. Everybody wants the 3-d premium that audiences bought into so I am not surprised by this, at all.

    • October 31, 2015 at 4:12 am

      I think it’s actually the theaters that want to show it in 3d and milk every dollar from each ticket you buy. Sadly my local theaters are making most imax shows mandatory 3d. I would have love to see non-3d imax shows of the force awakens 🙁

      • October 31, 2015 at 9:38 am

        Actually its both because Disney chose not to make very many prints in 70MM as well as theaters and Disney wanting the gross from a 3-D film. Theaters get most of their money from over priced concessions anyway.

    • October 31, 2015 at 4:29 am

      What do you mean by “non-3D”? Do you just mean that it should not have been available in 3D?

      • October 31, 2015 at 9:40 am

        Meaning a regular 2D film. Christopher Nolan, at least for the time being, refuses to make films in 3-D and loves the 70MM IMAX 2-D format so they didn’t post convert or film in 3-D. Meaning there is no incentive for the studios or theaters to refuse showing a 70MM 2-D film like there is with star wars where it is 3-D and they can get the additional gross a 3-D film allows for.

  • October 31, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I know it’s probably not the popular thing to say, but I really don’t like watching movies in IMAX. For me it is the same basic experience as sitting too close to a regular movie screen. While it’s “cool” that the screen takes up your entire peripheral vision, it also means that you don’t see everything — you just see whatever is happening where you’re focusing your attention.

    Also, the curve of the screen maybe is nullified if you happen to sit in the perfect sweet spot, but I have never found that spot. So it’s basically a fish-eye look to everything.

    The sound systems are of course very good and loud, but I’ve found that even though it may be louder, it’s not always better — just louder.

    • October 31, 2015 at 4:09 am

      The other problem with IMAX is very few movies are actually filmed with imax cameras so they don’t take advantage of the large format. Most movies are just up-scaled post production. In fact, the only “true” Imax films I’ve seen are Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar.

      That said, when it’s done well, it’s done beautifully. Being able to see almost through every office window during landscape scenes are truly breathtaking cinema experiences. The amount of detail you wouldn’t normally see is amazing.

      Allegedly, The Force Awakens has scenes shot in Imax but we will see in December how well done it is. Hopefully all action and landscape scenes are shot in Imax.

      • October 31, 2015 at 9:43 am

        I think they said its just one small portion of the film. Like the Dark Knight china sequence. Something like that.

  • October 31, 2015 at 2:54 am

    It’s shocking to me that it won’t screen in 70mm in Los Angeles. Weird decision, since that’s where a strong majority of people in and reporting on the film industry are. You’d think they’d want the positive vibes among that crowd that a 70mm screening would no doubt produce.

    I’m just bitter: I’ll be in SoCal in December and January, and I’d love to see it in 70mm. 🙁

  • October 31, 2015 at 4:54 am

    I’m so looking forward to this in Fort Lauderdale. We had a two screen IMAX in South Miami for a few years around the turn of the century, but the lack of fictional feature films killed it. The new science museum in Miami may have one, but won’t open til next year.
    I hope that someplace in South Florida has the ability to screen The Hateful Eight in 70mm, too. It’s possible that some of the non-IMAX locations with 70mm projectors are booked for Tarantino’s film already.

  • October 31, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Sorry for being ignorant but what is 70mm format?

    • October 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Hope this helps: 70mm film (or 65mm film) is a wide high-resolution film gauge, with higher resolution than standard 35mm motion picture film format. As used in camera, the film is 65 mm (2.6 in) wide

      • October 31, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        Well thank you for the technical aspects but I was wondering more in
        terms of.. “what is it”, like is it the normal cinema version we see? Or something more special?

        • October 31, 2015 at 7:44 pm

          What you’ll more than likely see in most theaters will be a digital reproduction from the actual film. It’ll still look great obviously but it won’t have quite the vibrance or warmth of actual film.

  • October 31, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Well thank you for the technical aspects but I was wondering more in terms of.. “what is it”, like is it the normal cinema version we see? Or something special?

    • November 1, 2015 at 1:57 am

      Oh OK, so your question “what is it?” is misleading… you’re after “will it have any additional content?” In that case the answer would probably be a simple “No”. The cinemas showing 70mm would most likely be doing it for picture quality reasons, not for showing any additional footage that I’m aware of…

      • November 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm

        I dont think it’s misleading… I didn’t ask for the technical aspects, I asked what it was. If someone asks you what is iMAX? You don’t rabble the inches of the screen you say it’s a huge wide screen much bigger than normal cinema.

    • November 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Think big wide vistas,old school epics like Ben Hur were filmed in it.

    • November 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      it’s visually different. Its not just that the image is larger, but that there is more in the frame and the image quality is richer. Most of the visual data from a 70mm print is lost when it’s converted to digital. A 70mm frame for instance might have 18k worth of visual data, while the digital IMAX conversion only has 2k.

  • October 31, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Good point. Too much in a rush I guess.

  • November 1, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I contacted IMAX recentlty and got something of an explanation as to what’s going on with this.

    the reason no other IMAX locations will screen 70mm is because no other IMAX screens have film projectors. Almost all of the IMAX screens have been converted to Digital projectors. They wouldn’t be able to screen a 70mm print at any more than those 11 theatres if they wanted to.

    The sad thing is that Disney is only releasing the digital IMAX version in 3D. No 2D IMAX for TFA.

    the sad truth is that 99% of all theatres are now digital and the digital systems available today have nowhere near the picture quality of 70mm. So JJ can shoot as many movies he wants with IMAX cameras, but nobody is going to be able to watch them! What we get instead are film to digital conversions.

    • November 1, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      the dozen IMAX screens left in the world with film projectors are at museums and other such places. Venues that aren’t as reliant on first run films. Kind of sad, really.

    • November 1, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      So what’s the deal with Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful 8? I thought that was going to be a major 70mm release.

  • November 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    the irony of all this is that it was George Lucas with the Prequal Trilogy that pushed theaters into digital projection. And filmmakers into shooting on digital cameras. Rest in peace, 70mm

  • November 1, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Your snide insults aside I did google it and found your technical mumbo jumbo wy before you postedit. But I’m fairly sure that if you were to ask “what is imax” you would not ask the inces and figures. You would wan’t to know, just like any normal person what it implies. Now I realize you are one of those people who refuses to see the other persons side of an argument so I don’t expect you to agree, but I know that if an ADULT person were to ask you “what is 70mm” you will NOT rabble the technical aspects, you will say “it’s a large format with large details” etc etc. And you know I’m right

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