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Three Ways to Maximize Your "TRON Legacy" Experience

Three Ways to Maximize Your "TRON Legacy" Experience

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Disney executives are very excited about "TRON Legacy."  In fact, they've been spending millions of dollars in the most creative ways promoting this film.  "FLYNN Lives," the alternate reality game that took place at Comic-Con and WonderCon, with virtual clues given by smart phone and computer, a "crashed" Encom press conference on San Francisco's Embarcadero, and a full-size Flynn's Arcade, with a secret portal leading to the world of TRON, has won its designers a coveted Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association, placing this one-of-a-kind movie promotion in an elite group of recipients for this year's awards, including the Walt Disney Family Museum, World of Color, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Whether or not you were able to experience the TRON magic at Comic-Con and WonderCon, ElecTRONica at Disney California Adventure theme park, or the 23 minutes exclusively shown in IMAX theaters on TRON Night, here are three additional ways to take your TRON experience to the next level.

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THE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE: GSCA Certified Giant Screen Theater

One of the exciting things about TRON Legacy is that for five selected scenes, the image on the screen will increase to a larger size in IMAX.  Unfortunately, for the majority of IMAX theaters out there, this means only a foot or two of additional image on the screen.  The reason is that most of the IMAX theaters that have opened in the past few years have been converted from regular movie theaters.  The screens aren't as big as traditional IMAX theaters and often, the seats are too far away to really be immersive.  Now, don't get me wrong.  The image on these screens, coming from IMAX's digital projectors, are state of the art and typically are brighter and sharper than most other projection systems on the market.

With the large number of cinema conversions and the increasing popularity of off-brand premium theaters from all of the major cinema companies, the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA), the industry organization for giant screen theater operators and filmmakers, has created a certification program defining just what makes up a giant screen.   About 30 theaters are currently participating, with many more to come.  Click here for a map of current certified theaters.  There are plenty more theaters out there that have not yet been certified.  To figure out if your local IMAX might meet the criteria, here they are:

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  • The screen needs to be 70 feet across or 3,100 square feet.
  • Take the width of the screen. The last seat in the theater can be no farther from the screen than the screen's width (i.e. if the screen is 70 feet across, no seat can be farther than 70 feet from the screen).

You can always call your local theater and ask for the screen dimensions, or you can check online at the LF Examiner site.  For an added enjoyment, catch TRON Legacy a second time on an IMAX Dome.  The screen, like a planetarium, surrounds you, and it might remind you of the World of Tron overlay on the SuperSpeed Tunnel.  Plans are currently for TRON Legacy to play in select IMAX Dome theaters early next year.

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D-BOX first offered a home theater simulator chair in 2006.  Since then, thousands of blu-ray discs have been coded for use with their system.  In 2009, "Fast & Furious" moved them into a new domain, with motion control seats in movie theaters synched to the action on the screen.  Technicians at D-BOX take their time, as each motion is synched frame by frame with the action on the screen, with the seats able to send you in six different directions.  If you've been waiting for that TRON action ride that's been on the books since the 80's, this is the best way to get a head start.  Make sure to buy your tickets in advance, because theaters usually reserve each individual motion seat.  Click here for a list of theaters equipped with D-BOX Motion Code.


There are many different kinds of 3D, such as linear polarizers (like IMAX), circular polarizers (like REAL D), and active glasses (like XpanD).  If you don't know what any of that means, don't worry about it.  The only term you need to have on your mind is Dolby 3D.  Dolby's 3D system uses a technology called Infitec (interference filter technology).  What does this mean? Instead of using polarizers or flashing lenses to make sure the proper image goes into the proper eye, Infitec splits the image at the projector into six colors.  Two each for red, green, and blue.  One set of each color then goes to each eye.  The result is the crispest, most vivid 3D image you are likely to ever see.

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I first experienced Dolby 3D when I was running an IMAX theater and I previewed "Monsters vs Aliens" at a private screening room with a number of other exhibitors.  I was so impressed, I called my contact at IMAX right away and told her I wanted to book the film.  When we did show it, the amount of detail was amazing on the IMAX screen, but even on IMAX film, the image itself was bland compared to Dolby 3D. 

In 2007, Stephen Shankland of cnet went on a quest to see "Beowulf" in IMAX 3D, REAL D, and Dolby 3D.   This is what he said:

"Based on watching the movie start to finish three times, the 3D winner is Dolby 3D -- and not just by a nose.

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"Dolby's technology gave a sharp image that showed every beard bristle, the colors were relatively rich, flicker from moving objects was nonexistent, but most significantly, the sense of depth was strong. Even the subtle differences between a character's facial features were perceptible, and group shots with a host of characters showed as true depth, not as a number of gradually more distant two-dimensional layers. I was truly impressed."

I couldn't agree more.  Like D-BOX, Dolby 3D locations are currently limited. Click here to find one near you.

Jim Hill Media gets a teeny tiny chunk of whatever you spend at Amazon.com when you click through here. Which would be a really nice way to show your appreciation for all the great stories that you've read on this website over the past year.

Happy Holidays!


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  • Well Jim, you've finally done it- You have ruined movies for me forever with the D-Box Mention. Hope you're happy.

  • Thanks for including GSCA's giant screen certification program here, Joe. There's more information about the program here: http://bit.ly/colUke

  • I am really excited for the new TRON move game!

  • Thanks to everyone who read my piece.  It's good to be back on JHM and I look forward to providing many more.  I need to make a couple of corrections and then add some additional stuff.

    First, D-BOX Motion Control seats for the home theater market actually went on sale in 2001, with the motion control coded ontol digital VHS and DVD's.  In 2006, the company started placing code on blu-ray discs.

    Second, the actual time for the extended scenes is around 43 minutes, with 7 scenes extended vertically on IMAX screens.  This information was relesed by Disney and IMAX just a few days ago.  The figures I used in this piece were based on interviews with the filmmakers last March.

    Now on to a couple of other things:

    James Hyder, publisher of the LF Examiner, has reminded me that he developed an application for Google Earth, where you can see every IMAX theater on Earth and look at things such as number of seats, screen size, etc.


    Finally,  on my blog, the Kinotech Blog, we've begun Three Weeks of TRON.  As part of the event, we'll be seeing TRON Legacy in different formats and documenting our impressions.  It all starts on Friday, as we report on Sacramento's attempt for a world record glowstick, followed by the midnight premiere of TRON Legacy in a giant screen IMAX theater.  The website is kinotechnologies.wordpress.com.

    Thanks again,


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