The Big Screen Gets Bigger

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Movie screens as much as 40 percent larger than usual may be coming to a theater near you. Are you willing to pay more for the experience?

Forget 3-D. How about a screen nearly 100 feet wide?

Theater chains are bringing in screens 20 percent to 40 percent larger than they’ve traditionally used, the Los Angeles Times says.

They go by an alphabet soup of names — BigD, XD, RPX, ETX, and you’ve probably heard of IMAX.

The X stands for experience or extreme, depending on the venue, but you might think of it as extra instead. Seats for these mega-screens tend to cost $2 to $5 more per ticket, the Times says.

Some of them are already here. Carmike has a 93-footer in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and more than a dozen 78-foot-wide BigD screens nationwide. Regal, the largest chain, has 43 RPX screens in the country. Cinemark has 120 wall-to-wall XD screens globally.

These bigger screens are meant to entice customers with an experience they can’t get at home, chain representatives told the Times. (What, those motion-simulating chairs weren’t doing it?) It seems to be working; Cinemark said 5 percent of its first quarter sales came from the XD screens, even though they account for less than 2 percent of its screens.

Will bigger screens reel you in at their higher ticket price? Or does it not make a difference? Let us know on Facebook, especially if you’ve already tried one.

Stacy Johnson

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