London Cinemas, comparisons and opinion.


Standard Member
Often, standard (non-Premium Format) screens that are flat (1.85:1 ratio) do not go wall-to-wall and aren’t particularly large. When scope (short for CineScope) was introduced, you were meant to see more picture (two and a half times wide as it is high) however with so many cinemas (especially multiplexes and megaplexes) taking an one-size-fits-all approach and installing flat 1.85:1 screens, what you ended up seeing was less picture due to letterboxing.
My gripe isn’t the black bars themselves it is that the visible picture is significantly smaller than the entire real estate of the screen. And because the majority of the movies that I watch are in scope it is a big no-no for me to watch scope movies on a 1.85:1 screen wherever possible.
If scope screens were installed instead of flat, would the width potentially still be the same though? There must be a reason flat screens don't go wall-to-wall (or made to a certain width) so I'm not sure scope screens would necessarily be wider anyway (unless someone tells me otherwise).

If that was the case, films shot in 1.85:1 would be even smaller on scope screens.

But in the absence of moveable masking and if you could find a flat 1.85:1 ratio screen big enough that when projecting a scope 2.39:1 movie the visible picture was as big as one presented on a large scope screen then I would settle for that.
That's the key I guess. Watford's IMAX is the best screen near me and while the screen is flat (necessary for IMAX films shot in 1.90:1), the screen is wall-to-wall so watching The Batman (shot in scope) was still the optimal screen to see the film as there wouldn't be a bigger screen nearby, even if it was a scope screen.

For those old enough cast your mind back to when most households owned a 4:3 tv and widescreen movies were available on LaserDisc and VHS. When watching a scope movie you’d lose what seemed like 1/3 of the screen real estate to letterboxing and the visible image would seem really small unless you had a huge tv.

A number of years ago Philips released the first and only 58” 21:9 ratio LCD/LED tv. Surprised it wasn’t a bigger success and that no other manufacturer seems to offer one as it is ideal for a non-projector home cinema setup imo where the majority of content viewed is likely in scope.
I guess because most TV is shot 1.78:1 is doesn't make much commercial sense. I find it bizarre when TV shows are shot in scope because it's totally pointless - they aren't going to be shown on the big screen and all(?) TVs are 1.78:1.

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