Theaters have become exhausting in their list of premiere movie formats, to the point that you could spend the better part of a week learning all the varying movie experiences you can see.
To make matters worse, new premiere formats are popping up and offering new and exciting features in vague marketing terms that don’t give you the full picture.
In this article, we are going to tackle Galaxy Theatres’ cozy, immersive DFX experience and see how it stacks up against more well-known alternatives like IMAX.
We are going to cover pricing, sound, visuals, comfort, and much more to give you more insight into whether or not this premiere format is suitable for you and yours.
What is a DFX Movie Theater?
DFX is a product that originates from Galaxy Theatres and is their response to other premiere movie formats.
Their biggest selling point is that the sound is all-encompassing and feels like it comes from every direction. This is due to their Dolby Atmos sound systems which plainly speaking offer one of the best audio experiences on the market today.
While Galaxy is pretty tight-lipped about the number of speakers these auditoriums utilize, they are designed to be laid out around the viewers to create a three-dimensional experience.
The DFX auditoriums also have reclining lounge chairs so you can crack out a good two-hour nap if the movie is garbage.
Seriously speaking, most theaters could benefit from more comfortable and accommodating chairs though. Since this is relatively rare, just the option of lounge chairs helps justify the increased price.
With that said, due to its uncommon nature, the comfort these chairs provide does offer something reasonably unique for DFX that other premiere formats fail to take advantage of.
On the visual side, these cozy auditoriums offer a visual experience provided by Barco’s latest “Smart Laser Projector System” or dual laser-powered projectors which sounds impressive on the surface though doesn’t explain the quality of the viewing experience in any real detail.
While Barco is a trusted projection developer that has been used by reputable theaters such as IMAX, it would have been nice to learn more about exactly what goes into their specific projectors. Sadly, this is par for the course when it comes to premium large format (PLF) theaters — impressive marketing materials but no real specification sheets to back up the talk.
DFX Vs. Digital
When you are comparing a premiere movie format to a more run-of-the-mill experience, the more rudimentary option will always fall a bit short of its loftier sibling (“Digital” just refers to a standard movie theater, by the way). DFX isn’t different in this regard and offers a visible upgrade that you can see, hear and feel for the additional three dollars you will need for the superior format.
Despite the uncomfortably limited amount of information on this movie format, we can still look to a few key points that help it separate itself.
The one most people will likely immediately notice is that the DFX auditoriums have the more comfortable recliners. This is nice considering how uncomfortable it can be for the above six-foot crowd to try and enjoy a movie with their knees glued to their chin from the lack of individual space.
While some individual Galaxy movie theatres might offer these cozy accommodations in all their different theaters, you guarantee it with a DFX purchase. But we should note that Galaxy theaters tend to have a more comfortable “standard” theater seat than the average cinema. Anecdotally, it seems that many standard (non-DFX) Galaxy tickets will also score you an upgraded recliner.
When we start looking more exclusively at the visual and audio experience we can also see some improvements.
A DFX theater comes equipped with Dual laser projectors (as stated previously) as well as one of the best sound systems found today, Dolby Atmos. This offers a much better viewing experience for the picky moviegoer and allows for visual clarity as well as sound output that feels immersive.
DFX Vs. IMAX
There isn’t a movie format in the world that escapes the IMAX comparison.
Regrettably, a good share of Imax theaters have some tricky marketing that makes it hard to tell the difference between the massive screens we have all heard talk of and the sincerely disappointing “Liemax” theaters. These smaller digital Imax auditoriums have not only shrunk the size of the screens exponentially – they offer less resolution than most standard cinemas.
If you do have the pleasure of seeing a film in an Imax that was specifically made for those larger theatres, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not go. The image quality of real IMAX to this day is still spectacular and an ocular spectacle you won’t soon forget. Unfortunately for the most well-known name in theaters, this doesn’t translate to their audio.
DFX utilizes a Dolby Atmos sound system that has superior audio quality. For those who feel like the audio of certain theaters feels a bit restrained or projected in a more singular direction, the surround sound capabilities of DFX help justify the newer theater formats’ place amongst its competitors.
To wrap up this brief comparison we should cover the pricing of the two. IMAX is going to run you around $19.69 for an adult ticket while DFX will be closer to $15.25. Both of these prices feel relatively fair for what you are getting from either product, though cost-cutting customers should pursue DFX if they are financially concerned.
Finally, most Imax theaters do not offer improved seating, unlike DFX, so if you are a bigger person or on the longer end of the height spectrum, you may appreciate the lack of discomfort from the more accommodating seating.
Overall, I would say that DFX offers a cheaper product with a better focus on comfort and audio quality, while IMAX still maintains its reputation for colossal resolutions and image quality. Ultimately, whichever one chooses to go with comes down to preference or what movie you are going to see.
Despite its mysterious nature, if you have a DFX nearby it should be well worth the upcharge.
While it doesn’t offer the staggering size of true IMAX, it has an incredible sound system and chairs more comfortable than a good hug. It won’t be the best movie experience you’ve ever encountered, but it surely will be an unforgettable viewing treat for any enthusiastic moviegoer.