In a previous post, I described how seeing Oppenheimer in 70mm IMAX would be a must-experience event. I took my 14-year-old and can confirm that for 60-year-old white people, it’s a packed party.
Only 19 theaters are showing the film in its purest format. The closest to Saint Louis is the Indianapolis State Museum—a three-and-a-half-hour drive from our house.
The tickets themselves were $20, as there was no matinee pricing. I had seen the movie in regular IMAX earlier but wanted to see it in all its glory. My oldest had not seen it yet, and he loves history. We found the concession stand to be full of options and reasonably priced. Getting a drink before a three-hour movie was a gamble but worth the $8.
We sat in the center of row three. Ideally, we would have been two rows up, but it was not as uncomfortable from a distance as I feared. However, the legroom was minimal. The man in front of me reclined fully, and the tall man to my left was manspreading. I constantly tried to find a position that wasn’t hurting my knees.
I was not ready for the shifting of aspect ratios throughout the film. I would say that only 40% of the film was in the “full” 1.43:1 ratio. These scenes were mostly Los Alamos and any of the awe-inspiring shots. It was distracting because these portions of the films were beautiful at the 70mm IMAX.
The film score was powerful and made what could be a boring biography into a tension-filled masterpiece.
I recommend the 70mm IMAX experience over my regular experience at my local theater. Was it worth the seven hours of driving? Probably not. But as a film lover, I am glad to have the experience and the memory of going with my 14-year-old.