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By : Chen Wang, Heng Li

The movie substitutes such as home cinema, video on demand (VOD), and plasma televisions leaded to a declining attendance of patrons to movie theatres, which urged the invention of IMAX theatre to call movie lovers back to cinemas. Many cinemas plan to renovate their regular digital theatre auditoriums into IMAX theatre auditoriums, but there lack of study for built environmental variations between regular and IMAX theatres. Through the combination of a questionnaire survey and a case study on a leading cinema company in Malaysia, the Tanjong Golden Village Cinemas (TGV), this paper aims to identify the structural and architectural differences between regular digital theatre auditorium and IMAX theatre auditorium in the perspectives of acoustic and visual experiences. The most significant factor influencing the satisfaction of visualization in IMAX is "immersive of picture" followed by "sharpness of colour" and "feels as part of the picture". The most significant indicators for audio experience in IMAX is "direction of object", which enable an audience to trace the direction and position of an object on the screen without looking at it. The built environmental variations between regular and IMAX theatres in terms of screen, camera and projection methods, seating, architectural layout, wall design, and sound system arrangement were thoroughly compared in the case study. Keywords: IMAX, Cinema, Theatre, Built Environmental Variations.

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