Why Star Wars Fanatics Are Trekking To Canada To See The Force Awakens

When it was revealed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would only be shown in limited "true IMAX" theaters, fans were bound to go to extreme lengths to get their fix. Which is why it's not that surprising to hear that fans from all over Canada, and even the UK, are flocking to one theater in the western part of the Great White North in order to feel the Force the way it was meant to be seen.

CTV News caught wind of the fandom driven pilgrimage that's set to sweep the Kramer IMAX Theatre at the Saskatchewan Science Center, smack dab in the heart of Canada. While we in the U.S. thought we were unlucky to have only 18 theaters showing a full IMAX presentation, our neighbors to the North will have a much harder time getting to see J.J. Abrams take advantage of the 70mm presentation. This is because the Kramer IMAX Theater is the only venue in the entire country to show the film with an actual IMAX 70mm film print, on a 52 X 73 foot screen.

To put things in perspective, the closest major Canadian cities to Regina are about a 6 to 7 hour drive away. With the winters being as cold as they are in Canada, that long and winding drive to see the adventures awaiting in Star Wars: The Force Awakens will feel reminiscent to a trip to the surface of the film's Starkiller Base, as the December 17th release date will be right at the beginning of the winter season. But with the Star Wars fan base being as strong as it is, the devotion to seeing the first new installment in 10 years, and in the best quality available, is too good to pass up.

One would think that Disney and Lucasfilm would take the hint and try to strike some more IMAX prints of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but with the time remaining until the film's December opening, it's probably not feasible at this point. Which means that you fans who want the large format experience over the 3D conversion will have to act smartly to get in on the action. Thankfully, you won't have to act too quickly, as time is on your side, thanks to a couple of key factors.

First, the film has a four week long exclusive engagement in the IMAX format. While this is bad news for films like In The Heart Of The Sea or The Revenant, who both also have IMAX plans for that month, it's good news for fans who want to go see the film in its 70mm presentation. Four weeks gives fans enough time to make travel plans, buy tickets, and pick the proper costume to go see the seventh Star Wars film in style.

Second, and this one is the most important, theaters that our housed in the science institute, like the Kramer IMAX Theatre, aren't bound by the usual quick turnaround that a full on movie theater would be bound by. Engagements for films tend to enjoy a longer window in such places, which means that by time In The Heart Of The Sea comes back to your local IMAX theater, Star Wars: The Force Awakens might still be playing near you. You'll just have to find the nearest science museum or casino that has an IMAX theater. If you want to get a look at the museum prepping for the big day, you can take a look in the video below.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to open in the early evening on December 17th, and we wish those who have tickets for opening night the best of luck. May the Force be with you all!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.