Mortal Engines author Philip Reeve recommends watching the film of his book on “the biggest screen you can find.” As a big fan, I wondered- which cinema screen is Cardiff’s biggest? The results may surprise you.
There are five main cinemas in central Cardiff: Odeon IMAX Cardiff Bay, Cineworld, Vue and Premiere in the city centre, and Chapter in Canton. Premiere and Chapter are pretty small, going for the high art and cheap fun ends of the market respectively. Vue has 7 standard screens that do the job well if not outstandingly, meaning it’s down to just Cineworld and Odeon.
Odeon’s IMAX name may make it sound like it has the biggest screen in town, fascinating visuals, booming sound and so on. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Amongst cinema buffs, the Odeon IMAXes are known as “Liemax”- they are digital versions, and not the full experience as found in London and Manchester. I couldn’t get through to Odeon’s office, but after some digging was able to find this graphic on avforums.com:
This graphic shows that Cardiff’s IMAX is actually pretty small. It is 15.7m x 7.8m.
Using Pythagoras’ Theorem- see, you do use maths once you’ve finished school- we can work that out to mean a diagonal measurement (which is how we usually measure screens) of 17.53m.
I managed to get through to Cineworld on the phone, and asked what sizes their screens are. Their representative told me that the screens are between 7.8m and 15.7m.
Cineworld’s 4DX screens are 15.7m. So not quite close to IMAX if you’re looking for a 3D experience. However, if you want a 2D experience, Cineworld’s Superscreens are a whopping 20.8m in size.
This means that, for 2D films, Cineworld Superscreen is the largest cinema screen in Cardiff. Hashtag: journalism.
Now I have just one problem- Mortal Engines comes out on Saturday, but isn’t being shown on the Superscreen until Monday. I’m not sure I can wait that long!