Bad news for Imax lovers in Hong Kong: UA Cinemas stops lending 3D glasses free of charge

Cinema chain’s decision to start charging film-goers for glasses comes weeks before it loses its status as the only one showing ultra-large-screen-format Imax 3D movies in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 May, 2017, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 May, 2017, 12:17pm

One of the perks of watching Imax movies in Hong Kong has always been the comforting fact that staff would just hand out 3D glasses right before you enter the cinema. That privilege ended on Thursday, however, as UA Cinemas officially suspended its “Imax 3D glasses borrowing service” for its Imax screens.

The chain now offers pairs of glasses for watching Imax 3D movies at the “special price” of HK$10 each at the box office. A small noticeboard there indicates that the original price for each pair is HK$20, which is presumably what you’ll have to pay for after this promotion period.

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Since UA opened its first ultra-large-screen-format Imax cinema in MegaBox, Kowloon Bay, in 2007, the chain has been the only one screening Imax films in Hong Kong, with screens of that standard also at its cinemas in iSquare, in Tsim Sha Tsui; in Moko, Mong Kok; and at Terminal 2 of the Hong Kong International Airport.

The policy change regarding the glasses comes weeks before UA loses its status as the only screener of Imax films in Hong Kong: in July, Broadway Circuit is expected to join the Imax market by unveiling a new cinema – named My Cinema Yoho – in the Yoho Mall in Yuen Long, which will house seven standard screens and one Imax screen; it will provide a total of around 1,200 seats, including 400 for Imax.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (which opened on May 25), the fifth instalment in Disney’s fantasy adventure series, is the first Imax 3D film showing in Hong Kong for which audiences need to buy and bring their own glasses.

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The next two movies to be screened in that format are Wonder Woman (available from June 1), the stand-alone DC superhero movie, and The Mummy (June 8), the Tom Cruise vehicle that will kick-start Universal’s massive monster film franchise.

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