Cinemark XD vs. IMAX

Talking about theatres and cinemas, people look for a wide range of options and differences between them to choose which one will give them the best experience. Cinemark XD and IMAX are two big names in the field, and you might also be confused about what’s the difference.

They are both equally highly rated and ranked places for you to go and watch a movie with a beautiful and memorable experience. Both companies try their best to provide an experience that is worth remembering and that takes you into a whole new dimension, taking you actually into the movie. 

Cinemark XD operates 522 theatres currently (321 U.S., 201 South, and Central America) that include 5,868 screens (4,408 U.S., 1,460 South, and Central America) spread over 42 states domestically and 15 countries all over America.

Royal Cinemas have the world’s tallest IMAX screens. The typical IMAX screen is about 16 meters in length and 22 meters in width (almost 52 by 72 feet), but they may be much bigger. The largest IMAX screen at Royal cinemas is 30 meters (98 feet) high.

The race is forever lasting and as technology takes the pace, the industry will keep innovating and bringing new excitable stuff for us to compare and choose between the options to look for the best. To make some choices easier for you, below you will find comparisons of:

  • Screens
  • Sound system
  • Display
  • Colors
  • Environment
  • Projectors
  • Sitting area
  • Food

And a conclusion to help you decide.

Let’s jump into some comparisons now, starting with the screen differences.

Table of Contents

Comparing Screens IMAX Vs Cinemark Xd

Why Screens Are So important?

Screens play a huge role in choosing which theatre gives you a better experience compared to the others. You probably want to sit on the seat and wish to just indulge completely in that scenario. This is made possible with huge screens.

IMAX promises to provide its customer with a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, curved screen that is so huge that it fills the entire room. On the other hand, the screens of Cinemark XD are less than 30 feet wide and resemble basically a big primary room.

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Screen Features Of Imax And Cinemark XD

Some IMAX theatres were converted to Cinemark XD theatres, so some are identical to IMAX digital format that is smaller than the true IMAX screen. 

Someone who wants to have a rich experience that is worth every penny they pay for, they prefer a wide, huge screen that has no distractions, and it basically makes you feel as if you are a part of it all. The Cinemark XD experience is the perfect option for blockbuster movies as they are better than 3D and do not need to wear special glasses.

Curved Screens In IMAX

The new idea of curved screens being incorporated into IMAX screens is a wonderful idea as it makes you feel surrounded by the screen and not just that you are watching something that has been mounted on the wall.


Comparing Sound System Imax Vs Cinemark XD

All your senses are completely involved in the movie once you are in the theatre, you want to leave the place remembering every single sound, such as a whisper, a breeze that feels to blow over your shoulder, a foot stomp, a loud blast, and the crackling of leaves.

IMAX Sound System

Sound systems play an important role as well as insulation and voice cancellation systems. IMAX cinemas provide a fully developed system of sound, and they promise heart-pounding audio, perfect pitch tuning, and pinpoint accuracy with the help of a laser-aligned audio placement.

IMAX Loudspeakers Blow Out Candles

However, some people think that IMAX sounds are way too loud to be damaging or create a rather bad experience for their ears, so they prefer Cinemark XD when it comes to sound quality. Cinemark uses 4.o.11.1 3d surround sound system and a 3-tier audio system, that now employs Dolby for surround sound in xd format.

Most recent IMAX films are now having the IMAX digital sound DDP designed by Sonics. DDP is the abbreviation for Digital Disc Playback. This system is a digital sound source specially made for IMAX. Sonics uses compact disc technology to deliver the highest quality sound delivery possible to date.

Cinemark XD Sound System

Cinemark XD theaters feature Auro 11.1 sound systems, which are actually 5.1 surround sound with another level of five surround speakers with an overhead speaker attached.

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While the 11.1 channel sound is actually really good, it should be taken into notice that most movies are mixed with Dolby Atmos and do not use Auro 11.1 that Cinemark XD uses. Other than that, Dolby Atmos is capable of putting the sound better and more precisely than Auro 11.1, which can also be a bit heavy and a little loud. 

Cinemark XD also utilizes the entire theater for amazing surround sound. Each Dolby Cinema theatre is added on with a Dolby Atmos surround sound system, including speakers placed on the ceiling and bass transducers attached to the floor beneath the person’s seat.

Comparing Environments IMAX Vs Cinemark XD

Cinemark XD 1 1

As a customer, you always wish to sit in a cozy, comfy place that gives you an experience that is better than sitting in your warm bed at home and watching your movie privately. Once you are leaving your comfort zone which was your home, you definitely need a better option as an alternative to that.

For this, the overall aura and environment of the place are very important. The staff should be friendly and welcoming, the seats should be comfortable and not tiring for you as you are about to spend the next few hours in this place and will leave with some remarks.

IMAX Vs Cinemark XD Features

IMAX seating sometimes gives you the height adjusting option, but the angle of the theatre might make some areas of the theatre less comfortable to sit in. Cinemark XD seats are reclined seats with adjustable headrests and footrests.

The Cinemark XD Theatre doesn’t have certified XD rooms instead it has typical cloth seats. Compared to that, IMAX has better leather seats which are more comfortable.

Cinemark theatres provide a friendly environment and always serve fresh popcorn which is a way to go for customers. IMAX promises to provide every single area of the auditorium suitable for sitting. Cinemark XD has reactive experiences that include reactive seats, Virtual reality on huge screens, and block-buster level movie theaters.

Cinemark is directed toward being a responsible member of society and promises to serve, with attention to environmental sustainability. They also serve fresh cocktails and chef-inspiring cuisine along with popcorn that makes your stay enjoyable.

Comparing Projectors IMAX Vs Cinemark XD

When it comes to projectors and the resolution along with some specificities such as the display type and colors, your eyes can distinctly see the differences and make clear choices in a few moments or maybe a single sight is enough to determine. 

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Cinemark was created in 1987 and expanded rapidly over the years spanning almost the whole of North America as well as South America covering the whole of the United States in a very short time. The company is the 3rd largest in the world in this field.

Cinemark XD Projectors can produce 60,000 lumens and create 35 trillion colors compared to IMAX features 600,000 lumens projectors, the one used by NASA to light up the launch pad.

Cinemark’s laser projection technology allows the sharpest, most vivid images and videos to be displayed. IMAX system uses two 2K projectors that can display either 2D or 3D content in DCI or IMAX Digital Format.

Looking at all these facts and information, it can be deduced that IMAX clearly provides better lumens and colors, but it can be too eye-straining as compared to Cinemark XD. Cinemark XD pictures will now look bland and less catchy than IMAX now that you have had this experience.

IMAX was launched in the 80s but it has been only a decade since it has been converted into XD format due to the competition in the industry and the rapidly blooming business of XD theatres.


All the factors and descriptions are given for you to decide and choose which option is better for you. If you plan to take your family for a movie night or want to go alone for some me-time or wish to plan a movie night for your entire staff or colleagues, then these things will give you an insight into how some facilities will be given to you. 

This way you will be more planned and ready for things and not go in there without knowing anything and get bad reviews and experiences. We don’t want you to come back home feeling like you wasted money on a bad bass or poor sound quality system.

Or come back home with a feeling that those hours could better have been spent at home watching the movie in the blanket. Also keep in mind that some people call IMAX a lie max because they do not provide things that are worth the money.

You will now be a more envisioned person with better knowledge, and we believe that your choices will be more mature now. 

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