Why IMAX is So Expensive?

Do you know moviegoers swear by the audio/visual quality of the IMAX movie theaters? However, they also claim it to be super expensive. A middle-class earner can go to a regular movie theater quite often, however, you have to starve to go on an IMAX date frequently.

Do you think it’s unfair? Well, it’s not unfair at all. IMAX is charging fair rates for its services, it’s just that we see it from our point of view. Let’s see it a bit differently and figure out why is it so expensive;

Why is IMAX so expensive?

In my opinion, IMAX is so expensive because of many fair reasons. As you know the profit is revenues minus cost.

We not only have to recover the costs incurred but generate profit as well. So the simplest answer to the question of why IMAX is so expensive would be the operating costs are high.

Therefore to run and earn, the tickets and food at the IMAX movie theater are quite costly.

This is just a general answer, if you jump into a little detail it would become understandable why IMAX is charging more than the regular movie theaters. Here are the few things that play a major role in making the IMAX theaters expensive;


If you have been to IMAX you might have noticed the IMAX screens are as tall and wide as the whole wall.

The image quality is also a hundred times better than the regular movie theaters. Think for a moment, how powerful projectors would have been required to light up such an overwhelmingly big screen.

If you have to save for months to get a high-quality projector for your home theater, how expensive would the projector that lights up such a big screen be?


The best things about the IMAX movie theaters are the screens and the sound system.

IMAX uses IMAX-patented speakers. These speakers are a hundred times more powerful than regular movie theater speakers.

A huge sum of money is spent on manufacturing these speakers, therefore who would the movie theater recover the cost from? Us.


As stated several times above, the IMAX screens are quite big. As per IMAX’s management, the screens are about 16 meters by 22 meters(52 by 72 feet).

Building, operating, and maintaining such a screen can not be economical so would IMAX.

Other advanced technologies

Besides IMAX-patented projectors, screens, and speakers, there are more high-quality cameras and fire extinguishers, and other technologies than the regular movie theaters.

Since IMAX provides a fully equipped luxurious environment to watch movies in, they have got a fair reason to charge more. Imax does not have recliners and advanced seating.

Repair and maintenance cost

Just as the electronic devices that light up the screen and produce such a powerful sound are expensive, their repairs and maintenance aren’t economical at all as well.

Operating cost

As soon as you step into the luxurious IMAX environment, it would be clear that IMAX requires a huge sum of money to keep entertaining.

The operating cost is recovered from the revenue therefore, the tickets and food at the IMAX theater are pretty expensive.

Read also: What Kind of Projectors Do Movie Theaters Use?

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