The IMAX screen in the theatre at Melbourne Museum is now officially the largest in the world, having successfully Bradburied its way to the lead in front of the just-demolished actual world’s largest in Sydney.
Screenings at IMAX Sydney finished on Sunday with a final 70-millimetre print of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, introduced by the director himself. Sydney’s iconic IMAX building in Darling Harbour is now closed until 2019, when it will reopen in a new building with a new projection system and a slightly smaller screen (that will still be the world’s largest).
Measuring 32 metres wide by 23 metres tall, Melbourne’s IMAX has recently been upgraded with laser projection lighting, showing movies through dual 4K projectors with brightness and contrast far superior to a regular movie screen. IMAX Melbourne’s general manager Richard Morrison says the theatre will be a happy temporary recipient of the ‘world’s largest’ moniker: “For the next three years, IMAX Melbourne will be the custodians of the title of World’s Largest Screen. We are looking after the title while the IMAX theatre in Sydney is demolished and rebuilt.”
IMAX Melbourne has done some incredible work over the last few years, to be fair. Its 3D screening of Avatar in 2009 had 152 consecutive sold-out sessions in the first six weeks and the single screen contributed $2.2 million to the Aussie box office takings, and The Force Awakens took $1.9 million and saw 19,000 tickets sold in the first 96 hours of the movie’s release. It’s also one of the few IMAX screens outside of North America with a laser projector, making it the best cinema from a technical perspective in Australia right now.
We’ll let you have this one, Melbourne. For a couple of years, at least.