IMAX Laser Auditorium Opens at AMC Kips Bay 15

After months of delays and permit issues, Manhattan has finally received it’s third IMAX with Laser auditorium at AMC’s Kips Bay multiplex. The freshly renovated theater is now open playing Doctor Sleep and joins AMC’s Lincoln Square 13, Empire 25 and 34th Street 14, two other New York multiplexes with Laser-powered IMAX technology.

AMC had originally planned for IMAX renovations at both 34th Street and Kips Bay to be completed “in the August timeframe”. That became true for 34th Street, which opened with Spider-Man: Far From Home in the summer, but Kips Bay had a hurdle with government permits.

The renovation includes a new entrance and seating, similar to other IMAX with Laser locations throughout the city. As anticipated, the screen maintains the unusual 2.1:1 aspect ratio which is slightly wider than 1.9:1, which is commonly used for IMAX screens, and slightly higher than 2.39:1, which most Hollywood films are shot in.

Below are some comparisons of the auditorium before, during and after renovation:

The entrance to the auditorium, before and after. The digital screen currently stretches IMAX’s promotional images. This may be due to the screen being designed for AMC’s pre-show banners instead.
The seats before and after the upgrade. The new seats, made by VIP Cinema, are also used in other newly-constructed IMAX locations such as 34th Street and Staten Island. Left Image: R68Dtrain2500/cinematreasures.

Find more pictures of the new auditorium below:

IMAX with Laser operates a laser 4K projector and 12-channel sound system, providing a significant upgrade to 2k xenon projection utilized by traditional IMAX digital projectors. The upgrade also syncs in to Dolby Cinema, a competing premium format which also uses Laser projectors.

AMC signed an agreement with IMAX last year to install 55 additional Laser locations. Since then, Regal Cinemas-owner Cineworld also agreed to install an additional 15, including Brooklyn’s UA Sheepshead Bay. In both agreements, the focus was on “high-performing locations” to receive the installation.

“We are very pleased that exhibitors are voting with their wallets and installing IMAX with Laser,” said IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond on a June conference call.

AMC Kips Bay is ineligible for a Dolby Cinema auditorium due to lack of needed configuration. However, it may receive a Laser AMC Prime auditorium in the future. The nearby AMC 34th St, although recently having gone through two renovations with Laser and Dolby, is also set for a total remodel with reclining seats, to be completed by February.

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