Why don't IMAX theaters hold video game competitions?

I just received the new copy of EGM in the mail yesterday. In the letters column, there’s a story from a gentleman that mentioned how cool it would be to rent out a movie theater, hook up an Xbox, and have some multiplayer fun on the big screen.

Apparently a man overheard his conversation, and said he worked for the local IMAX theater. During the afterhours, he said he’d done just that with he and his friends – Halo competitions on a four-story screen.

Which leads me to my series of questions:

  1. Do IMAX movie theaters really make a boatload of money? We have one located at one of our malls, and while occasionally I see people waiting, I don’t believe they ever really sell out.

  2. Why don’t proprietors of IMAX theaters hold round-robin competitions like the one mentioned above? $15 to compete, or $5 to come in and watch. Winners of the competition take home a cash prize, or tickets to future IMAX shows, or whatever.

Plus, you’re still selling the normal concessions, so you’ll still make money there. Doesn’t this seem like a feasible idea to get people to visit your theater? If nothing else, you might then get more people willing to come to your overpriced IMAX movies.

Any thoughts on this?

The first problem you would run into in any of the IMAX theaters, and the vast majority of traditional theaters in general is the film based projection system. There is no way to get projector to accept the video out signal from an X-Box or PS2.

However, a few theaters are beginning to use digital projectors (which I think are DLP based), which should be able to interface with a X-Box or PS2. The problem here would be resolution. I don’t think Halo or any other video game would look all that great on a 40’+ screen.

They do


Given that most consoles generally display images at ~640x480 pixels, assuming a 40ft high screen, that means EACH pixel is going to be an inch high, and 1 1/3 inches wide.

I would also think that you would have to work out a deal with the producers of the games and with X-box to do this.