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To some, size really does matter

By: Don Chaddock, The Telegraph
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Readers may recall the question I posed a few weeks ago asking if size really matters when it comes to IMAX. The Regal Cinemas in El Dorado Hills has proudly sported the IMAX label since its recent upgrade. The catch is that while the video and audio hardware made the grade, the silver screen did not. Films shown using IMAX equipment are supposed to be sharper, the colors brighter and the sound perfect, even if the screen isn’t much larger than your standard multiplex variety. Clinton Crawford recently moved to Sacramento from Canada and has experienced IMAX theaters such as the Esquire IMAX in Sacramento and another in Canada. He bought tickets to “Star Trek: The IMAX Experience” and sent me this report. “The experience at the El Dorado Hills IMAX was rather underwhelming,” he writes. “When I bought the tickets, I didn’t realize this was one of the new ‘digital projection’ IMAX theaters. The first thing I noticed was the lack of ‘crispness’ you see in usual IMAX and the second thing was a horrible screen door effect caused by trying to project digitally on a screen of this magnitude. I can’t image them trying to project digitally on a ‘real’ IMAX screen. … “Anyway, I found the whole experience somewhat disappointing. I’m glad I got to see ‘Star Trek’ on a really big screen, at least compared to the standard multiplex variety, but I feel kind of gypped paying $6 extra for tickets for something that doesn’t even approach true IMAX quality. “Now, I don’t have a problem with IMAX branching into multiplexes. It’s a lot cheaper than building a dedicated giant IMAX theater. I just have one request — don’t call it IMAX. Between the small screen, laid back seating and digital projection, the experience doesn’t even compare.” SPONSORS NEEDED The El Dorado Hills Firefighters’ Association is asking for help to sponsor the 37th annual Wine, Cheese and Brew Fest slated for Sept. 12. Chief Brian Veerkamp said funds raised by the event go toward worthy causes throughout the year. Enjoy the sight of Santa Claus handing out toys to children from the back of a fire engine? The firefighters manage to get Santa away from his busy schedule with funding supplied by this festival. The association also provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors, sponsors youth groups in various activities and will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Deputy Jeff Mitchell Memorial Baseball Field. Veerkamp said they’ve managed to book the band Hip Service to perform at the event. They’ve also moved the venue to the old El Dorado Hills golf course at Serrano Parkway and El Dorado Hills Boulevard. The event features wine and microbrew tasting, light food by local restaurants and chefs, gourmet cheeses, silent auction and even a classic car show. Tickets are $40 each, or if you help the sponsor the event, complimentary tickets are thrown in. For more information, call 933-6623. Don Chaddock can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com.