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These 29 theaters will give you the best Star Wars viewing experience

Best Star Wars Force Awakens IMAX

We’re one week away from the theatrical debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, likely the most anticipated movie of the year. A record number of tickets for the premiere have already been sold, and millions more will sell in the coming weeks. But not all moviegoers, whether they’re hard-core fans of the Force or newcomers to the Star Wars universe, will enjoy the best possible experience.

In fact, there are only a limited number of theaters around the world that will offer you the viewing experience that Star Wars director J.J. Abrams had in mind for the movie.

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Asked about the ideal way to watch The Force Awakens, Abrams told Associated Press that IMAX is the way to go, and specifically, laser projectors. “You cannot compare a traditionally projected image with a laser image,” Abrams said. “The blacks are true blacks. It’s almost as if you have to adjust to it.”

“As someone who really hasn’t been the most vocal advocate of 3D, the strangest thing happened to me on this,” he said. “When I was watching the reels in 3D, there were a number of shots — and I know this sounds insane — that I hadn’t understood in the three-dimensional space quite the way I did when I saw them in 3D. I actually felt that there were things that were playing better in 3D. I had never felt that before. And if people have access to a theater that has laser projection, it is shockingly better.”

Unfortunately, there aren’t many theaters that have laser IMAX projection. Here’s a list of 29 theaters that will offer you the Star Wars viewing experience Abrams recommends, as compiled by io9.

3D Laser IMAX

  • TCL Chinese Theatres IMAX – Hollywood, CA
  • AMC Metreon 16 & IMAX – San Francisco, CA
  • AMC Universal CityWalk Stadium 19 & IMAX – Universal City, CA
  • Boeing IMAX and the Pacific Science Center – Seattle, WA
  • Sunbrella IMAX 3D Theatre at Jordan’s Furniture Reading – Reading, MA
  • Scotiabank Toronto & IMAX – Toronto
  • Airbus IMAX, Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center – Chantilly
  • Melbourne Museum – Australia
  • Event Cinemas Queen Street IMAX – New Zealand
  • VOX Cinemas & IMAX – UAE
  • Cinestar Berlin & IMAX – Germany
  • Filmpalast AM ZKM IMAX – Germany
  • Empire Leicester Square IMAX – United Kingdom
  • Cineworld Sheffield & IMAX – United Kingdom

2D Laser IMAX

  • McWane Center IMAX Dome Theatre – Birmingham
  • IMAX, U.S. Space & Rocket Center – Huntsville
  • Hackworth IMAX Dome, The Tech Museum – San Jose
  • Museum of Discovery & Science AutoNation IMAX – Ft. Lauderdale
  • IMAX Dome, Museum of Science & Industry – Tampa
  • IMAX, Indiana State Museum – Indianapolis
  • Blank IMAX Dome, Science Center of Iowa – Des Moines
  • Branson’s IMAX, Entertainment Complex – Branson
  • St. Louis Science Center OMNIMAX Theatre – St. Louis
  • Tuttleman IMAX, The Franklin Institute– Philadelphia
  • Kramer IMAX, Saskatchewan Science Centre – Regina
  • Lockheed Martin IMAX, National Air & Space Museum, Omni – Fort Worth
  • Museum of Science & History – Fort Worth
  • LG IMAX, Darling Harbour – Sydney, Australia
  • The Science Museum – London, England

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.