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DID YOU READ

A handy guide to the confusing world of IMAX

IMAX CINEMA, 7 stories high at SPACEPORT USA the cinema is s

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Everyone is talking about the new “Mission: Impossible” sequel “Ghost Protocol” and they’re all saying the same thing: you have to see it in IMAX. Director Brad Bird shot approximately 30 minutes of the film with IMAX cameras, and the results are said to be stunning. I’m not surprised; I remember seeing “The Dark Knight” in IMAX and literally gasping at the sight of those mammoth flyby images of Gotham City.

So if you’re like me, you’re probably dying to see the film, but there’s one big problem: where to find an IMAX theater? I live in Brooklyn; the closest true IMAX screen is in Manhattan at Lincoln Square, about an hour’s subway ride away. There are other, closer theaters that offer what’s called “IMAX Digital,” but that’s not as good: those screens feature bigger picture and sound than a standard multiplex auditorium, but they’re still markedly smaller than the real IMAX experience. This image from the Wharton School of Business makes it very easy to see the difference between IMAX or IMAX Digital

IMAX Size Guide

As you can see, it’s important to know before you go, particularly because there’s often no price difference between IMAX and IMAX Digital. In New York City, for example, a “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” ticket at the true IMAX theater at Lincoln Square is $19 — plus a $2 fee if you buy it in advance, like I just did. A ticket at one of the IMAX Digital screens in Manhattan will set you back either $18 or $19 depending on the location (for curious New Yorkers: the AMC 34th Street and AMC Empire on 42nd are a buck cheaper than the rest). In other words, you might pay almost the exact same price for a drastically different IMAX. No wonder some dissatisfied customers have started calling IMAX Digital “LieMAX.”

That’s why if you’re unsure, I recommend you head over to /Film, where Peter Sciretta put together a very useful piece about IMAX and IMAX Digital. It explains in greater detail the difference between the two formats and the history of IMAX’s 70mm film stock, but the real prize is on the article’s second page: a full list of all the real IMAX theaters in America. There’s even a link to a similar list of international IMAX venues for readers overseas.

Go take a look, and then seek out those theaters. Get your money’s worth. It might be hard, but hopefully it won’t be impossible.

How far is the closest real IMAX theater to you? Tell us in the comments below or write to us Facebook and Twitter.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…