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Where to watch Dune: Part Two in IMAX 70mm (and why it’s worth it)

Paul walks in the desert in Dune: Part Two.
Warner Bros.

The first movie event of the year is here. Dune: Part Two opens today in theaters nationwide, and it’s already a hit with critics. With a great 95% Rotten Tomatoes score, it’s safe to say that Dune: Part Two is good … very, very, good. It might even be better than Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, but we’ll save those debates for later.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the sci-fi sequel is more epic in both length (it’s nearly three hours long) and scope (tons of new characters and actors appear, including Christopher Walken!). It’s the type of movie you go to a theater to see it in all of its glory. That explains why many showings in IMAX and other premium format theaters like Dolby Cinema and 4DX are already sold out.

The holy grail of Dune: Part Two‘s premium format versions is the IMAX 70mm one. Because of its rarity (only 12 theaters worldwide are showing it in this format), it’s the one that dedicated Dune fans want to see the most. This fan demand is similar to last year’s release of Oppenheimer, which also had a 70mm IMAX version that played in only a handful of locations worldwide.

Where can you watch Dune: Part Two in IMAX 70mm?

Sandworms invade Arrakis in Dune: Part Two.
Warner Bros.

If you live in North America and the U.K., you’re in luck. Dune: Part Two should be playing in this format in your country. Everywhere else, I’m afraid, will just have to make do with the digital IMAX and Dolby versions, which are still great! According to the IMAX website, here are the 12 locations showing Dune: Part Two in IMAX 70mm:

U.S.

Harkins Arizona Mills 25 & IMAX – Tempe, Arizona

AMC Metreon 16 & IMAX – San Francisco,

Regal Edwards Irvine Spectrum & IMAX – Irvine, California

TCL Chinese Theatres IMAX – Hollywood, California

Universal Cinema AMC at CityWalk Hollywood & IMAX – Universal City, California

IMAX, Indiana State Museum – Indianapolis

AMC Lincoln Square 13 & IMAX – New York

Regal UA King of Prussia & IMAX – King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Regal Opry Mills & IMAX – Nashville, Tennessee

CANADA

Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan & IMAX – Ontario, Canada

UNITED KINGDOM

BFI IMAX, British Film Institute – London

AUSTRALIA

IMAX, Melbourne Museum – Melbourne

Why the digitally shot Dune: Part Two was converted to IMAX 70mm

A director talks to Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Part Two.
Warner Bros.

Unlike Christopher Nolan with Oppenheimer, Villeneuve and cinematographer Greig Fraser did not shoot Dune: Part Two on film. Like they did with the first Dune, the sequel was shot using Arri Alexa LF digital cameras. Yet because Oppenheimer was such a big hit with its IMAX 70mm version, Warner Bros. gave permission for Villeneuve to convert a digital print to film, which allowed for the movie to be presented in this unique format.

In an interview with Screen Crush, Villeneuve revealed the thought process behind the decision: “Thanks to Chris Nolan, who gave me the chance to do that because of the success of Oppenheimer. There was a joy and an excitement about [converting to IMAX 70mm]. When Warner Bros. asked me what I would think of doing a film release, I was moved and excited by the idea. So as much as I worked very hard on the digital version to be perfect, I will say that it’s quite moving to see the 70mm prints and IMAX prints. They have different qualities, but both have strengths and advantages.”

What’s so great about watching Dune: Part Two in IMAX 70mm anyway?

A screenshot of different aspect ratios for Dune: Part Two.
Reddit/r/imax

So what are the advantages to seeing Dune: Part Two in IMAX 70mm? For starters, you get to see more of the movie. That’s because it’s being presented in a 1.43:1 aspect ratio, which lets audiences see more of the image at the top and bottom of the screen. Note that not all of the movie is in this ratio; only 40 minutes are presented in 1.43:1, while the rest is 1.90:1.

The second, and most important reason, is that Dune: Part Two in IMAX 70mm allows viewers to more fully immerse themselves into the world of Arrakis. The images have more weight to them due to the film stock; the textures of Arrakis look grittier, and the emotions conveyed feel more raw.

Paul fights an enemy in Dune: Part Two.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Don’t take my word for it, though. Just watch and listen to Christopher Nolan himself, who recently interviewed Villeneuve about Dune: Part Two and expressed his love for the IMAX 70mm version:

In Conversation With Nolan & Villeneuve | IMAX® Behind the Frame

Yet there’s no getting around the fact that only a select few can see Dune: Part Two in this format. 12 cities worldwide isn’t a lot if you consider the movie’s large fan base, and there’s an uneven distribution of locations in North America that speaks to how few IMAX theaters there are that can screen movies in this very specialized format.

If you live in California, chances are, you have a better chance of seeing it in all of its large format film glory. Yet, the rest of us can see Dune: Part Two in “regular” IMAX or other formats and still take away the essentials: the superb acting, the larger-than-life spectacle, and the sweeping Hans Zimmer score. Great movies are great any way you see them, and Dune: Part Two, like its predecessor, is just as good at home on a flat-screen TV as it is in a fancy IMAX theater.

Dune: Part Two is now playing in theaters.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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