No, there are no Portland-area theaters showing Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm — only regular 70mm (2024)

Director Christopher Nolan has urged audiences to see his latest movie in what he says is the biggest and best possible format, but you can't do that in Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan's upcoming blockbuster film about the man behind the first atomic bomb, is generating a lot of online buzz in the final days before its premier, due in part to the director's widely-publicized calls for audiences to try see his film in what he considers to be the biggest and best possible theatrical format: IMAX 70mm.

Theaters equipped to show IMAX 70mm films are hard to come by; there are only 19 cinemas scheduled to show Nolan's preferred version of Oppenheimer in the entire United States. When KGW posted a story listing their locations to social media, we noted that none of them are in Oregon or Washington, and the closest option for local purists is in Sacramento.

This revelation led to some confusion in the comments, however, with a few readers pointing out that Portland is home to several IMAX-equipped theaters, and others noting that at least one theater in the metro area appeared to be offering screenings of the movie in 70mm format.

We checked the listings at some of those big Portland theaters (and did some homework about what all these terms mean) to get to the bottom of the situation.

RELATED: You won't be able to watch 'Oppenheimer' in its intended format in the Seattle area


Are any theaters in the Portland area offering to screen Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm format?



No, there are no Portland-area theaters showing Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm — only regular 70mm (1)

No, there are no theaters in the Portland area that will show Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm, although some theaters will screen the movie in IMAX digitally or on 70mm film on a conventional screen.


Let's start by getting into what IMAX 70mm actually means, at least for the purposes of buying the right movie ticket. IMAX means the movie is going to be shown on a supersized IMAX screen rather than a conventional movie theater screen, and 70mm means the movie is going to be displayed using a film projector rather than a digital projector.

IMAX used to be associated more with custom films shown in specialized theaters to take full advantage of the proprietary format's enormous scale, but the arrival of digital IMAX cameras and projectors paved the way for an expansion into conventional multiplexes in the past decade. That same time period has also seen a rising number of Hollywood tentpole films shot partially or entirely with IMAX cameras to match the new screening options.

Nolan's blockbusters have been no exception to this trend, but Nolan is also known for shooting his movies on traditional film rather than using modern digital cameras, which for IMAX means shooting on larger 70mm film rather than conventional 35mm film in order to give the format its signature sprawling size and detail.

For Oppenheimer, Nolan is urging audiences to seek out screenings of the movie on film projectors rather than the digital projectors more commonly found in modern cinemas, but the movie's IMAX 70mm prints are staggeringly large — more than 600 pounds, according to the Associated Press — and only a tiny handful of theaters are equipped with IMAX film projectors that can display them. Most others only have digital IMAX projectors.

There are also 70mm prints designed for conventional screens, and some theaters do have projectors that can display them, including Regal Bridgeport Village in Portland, which appears to be where some of the online confusion is arising. The listings on Regal's website indicate that Bridgeport Village will offer 70mm film screenings, but they won't be in IMAX. The Hollywood Theatre in Portland is also advertising a 70mm print.

No, there are no Portland-area theaters showing Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm — only regular 70mm (2) No, there are no Portland-area theaters showing Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm — only regular 70mm (3)

Credit: Regal Theaters

Oppenheimer showtimes at Regal Bridgeport Village listed on the company's website.

Bridgeport is also showing the movie in IMAX, but the 70mm part is missing from that listing category, indicating that the IMAX showings will be digital, not film. If you look up Oppenheimer showtimes at the Regal Edwards Ontario Palace in California, for example — one of the few theaters on the IMAX 70mm list — you'll notice that theater's listings include an IMAX 70mm category.

No, there are no Portland-area theaters showing Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm — only regular 70mm (4) No, there are no Portland-area theaters showing Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm — only regular 70mm (5)

Credit: Regal Theaters

Showtimes for Oppenheimer specify 70mm IMAX at one of the few theaters equipped to display the format.

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No, there are no Portland-area theaters showing Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm — only regular 70mm (2024)


Is it better to see Oppenheimer in IMAX or 70mm? ›

Nolan has said that 70mm print film is the best way to watch the film, either in IMAX 70mm—at three cinemas in the UK—or classic 70mm, which you can see at six UK cinemas including our own Pictureville Cinema.

Are 70mm and IMAX 70mm the same? ›

IMAX 70mm is 3 times the size of regular 70mm. It's a huge difference. It means more picture and higher resolution.

Why is Oppenheimer in the IMAX 70mm? ›

That's because Knapp wanted to see Christopher Nolan's “Oppenheimer” the way the director intended: in Imax 70mm, a rare format crafted from Nolan's film negative, with physical reels spanning 11 miles and weighing 600 pounds.

What is the best screen to watch Oppenheimer on? ›

Yes, Nolan seems to suggest IMAX – any IMAX, really – would be the best way to watch “Oppenheimer.” Which makes sense, because Nolan shot “Oppenheimer” with IMAX film cameras.

Is Oppenheimer on IMAX or PXL? ›

You should watch Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm if you can.

This is because the movie is designed for this specific format, with Nolan ensuring that this presentation will expand images up to a 1.43:1 aspect ratio. In his own words, as per AP, it's the “best possible experience” to view the film.

What is the largest IMAX screen in the US? ›

Lincoln Square's IMAX screen is the largest one in the United States, occupying multiple floors of the building in which it resides.

Are there glasses for IMAX movies? ›

Thanks to the fact that many IMAX theaters use different 3D technology than regular theaters in order to accommodate their concave screens, they also use different glasses.

How many 70mm IMAX theaters are there in the US? ›

Only 19 U.S. theaters will show 'Oppenheimer' in 70mm Imax. It's epic. CZECH REP. REP.

What format should I watch Oppenheimer in? ›

Film as film was intended. The ultimate analogue viewing experience is IMAX 70mm – the film format Nolan shot Oppenheimer on. The digital equivalent of this would be no less than 18K. It just doesn't get any more high-res than that.

Why does 70mm look so good? ›

70mm has a higher resolution than both 35mm and 4K DCP. It captures a bigger, brighter picture, complete with a broader color range and detailed, vibrant visuals. However, by the mid-'90s, showing films in 70mm began to die down, years before showing films on 35mm began to die down.

Is it worth seeing Oppenheimer in 70mm IMAX? ›

Easily worth the high ticket price ($25 at my theater) and frustration seeing the aspect ratio and resolution continually change. The normal, digital version is cropped and lower resolution, but there wouldn't be any distracting format changes pulling you out of the story (which is excellent, by the way).

How long will Oppenheimer stay in IMAX? ›

Due to popular demand, “Oppenheimer” has extended its 70mm run at Imax theaters nationwide through the end of August. The previous end date, which was already an extension of the film's original run in Imax 70mm format, was Aug. 17. Tickets for Christopher Nolan's atomic bomb drama are already on sale through Aug.

How loud is Oppenheimer in IMAX? ›

For most of “Oppenheimer,” in IMAX, the dialogue's volume was so loud it was difficult to hear, or it was drowned out by background sound features common in Nolan films. But I realize that movie preferences are highly subjective, and it seems the majority of audiences like rumbling, ear-splitting sound effects.

Should you watch Oppenheimer in IMAX Reddit? ›

For that I absolutely ENCOURAGE that if you can you see Oppenheimer in IMAX 70MM. It's how the movie was shot and meant to be presented, it's visual fidelity and detail is unrivaled and closest medium to mirroring the human eye. IMAX 70MM resolution would equate to 16K digital.

Is watching a movie in 70mm worth it? ›

The resolution of 70mm film is much better than 35mm, providing a richer visual experience and extremely detailed images that are a joy to watch. The 70mm film produces a much higher resolution than its 35mm counterpart due to its larger size.

Should you watch Dune in 70mm? ›

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.


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