Why Watch Oppenheimer in IMAX? (Is it in 3D?)

Last updated on 9 July 2023.

If your city has an IMAX, then this is the perfect movie to experience it. Learn why watch Oppenheimer in IMAX?

Is Oppenheimer shot in IMAX?

Director Christopher Nolan is known to be the pioneer for filming his movies in this premium format.

Oppenheimer is partially shot with IMAX film cameras. Some scenes will be presented in 1.43:1 aspect ratio at IMAX 70mm venues but will be cropped to 1.90:1 ratio in IMAX Digital theatres. 

Another interesting thing about it is that some of these sequences are also in black and white photography, which is especially made by Kodak.

You can learn more about Oppenheimer and IMAX connection in this official featurette:

Nolan was the first person to bring this fantastic technology in the Hollywood with The Dark Knight in 2008. He then used it for Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet as well.  

How much IMAX footage is in Oppenheimer?

Only a few scenes in Oppenheimer are formatted in the IMAX expanded ratio. Rest of the movie is shot with the standard 65mm camera and shown in normal 2.20:1 or 2.35:1 cinemascope ratio.

What we can say is that with the runtime of about 3 hours and 10 minutes, it may have about 30-50% footage in the large IMAX frame. Note that there will be two timelines running in the film with one in Color and other in Black & White.

There were definitely some movies like Avengers Endgame that utilize the full IMAX screen for the 100% runtime. But they were shot with Digital Cameras. On the other hand, Nolan is only using 70mm film for his movies.

These film (or reel) cameras are known to be very heavy and noisy, making them very difficult to capture close-up shots and dialogues. So, not a single big budget movie till now has been completely shot with them.

Should I watch Oppenheimer in IMAX?

IMAX theaters are known for their big screens, amazing video quality and solid sound system.

IMAX is the best format to watch Oppenheimer, especially the 70mm film presentation. But the IMAX Digital version is also superior because the production team has worked on digitizing for more than 6 months. 

Nolan himself stated this same fact in this official statement:

The sharpness and the clarity and the depth of the image is unparalleled. The headline, for me, is by shooting on IMAX 70mm film, you’re really letting the screen disappear. You’re getting a feeling of 3D without the glasses. You’ve got a huge screen and you’re filling the peripheral vision of the audience. You’re immersing them in the world of the film.

Other formats you might consider will be Dolby, 4DX, or ScreenX. Dolby is also a good option because of its stunning sound quality. Other than that, it is not getting formatted for in 4DX and ScreenX.

Where are the IMAX 70mm locations?

According to an official statement, Only 30 theaters in the world were given the IMAX 70mm film reel, so the full experience is only limited to these locations. These theatres are available in the USA, Canada, UK, Czech Republic and Australia.

No 15/70mm IMAX theaters available in India for mainstream Indian or Hollywood films. There are 2 such screens available in Gujarat and Punjab Science City, but they only showcase Museum documentaries. 

All the other main IMAX screens in the country are Digital with 2K Projectors and some with Laser Projections.

Still, as we mentioned above, the digitization is carefully done by the Oppenheimer team, by transforming the reel footage to its maximum quality for IMAX digital shows. So, that will be main recommendation to watch it.

Is it in 3D?

Oppenheimer is not converted in 3D. Nolan is not a big fan of post-converted 3D as it results in lower brightness and saturation. So, you will only find 2D shows everywhere.

Oppenheimer will release in India on 21 July 2023, with an A age rating. It is the story of J Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of first ever Atomic Bomb.


So now you know what makes Oppenheimer in IMAX so special and why it is the best format to watch it. This is going to be Real Cinema this time!

And if you don’t know who I am? I am Ranish Chauhan a.k.a. Fulmino Fan, and I love Marvel & DC Superheroes and Sci-Fi movies. You can also check my YouTube channel for amazing videos in Hindi.

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