The IMAX Experience: 007 Spectre

Just a few nights ago, I was fortunate to have been invited to the premiere screening of 007 Spectre at the newly-built, IMAX headquarters located out in what is now affectionately referred to as the ‘The Campus’ area of Playa Vista, CA.

The IMAX HQ fits right in with its tech-giant neighbors - YouTube, Google and Facebook, just to name a few - with its $45 million, state-of-the-art complex. It’s equipped with two large screening rooms, so I eagerly awaited for what was to be an aural and visually stunning experience. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Daniel Craig being the leading eye-candy either. 

While I am no stranger to the IMAX experience, right from the beginning of the film, I felt a palpable difference between the old and new technology. The latter being much more immersive and aurally-realistic for an action-packed film like 007 Spectre. 

With Sam Mendes returning to the helm as director, the film takes place across a span of familiar and relatively-obscure locales for the 007 franchise. One of the most important and riveting scenes of the film takes place in Mexico City. I’ll leave it at that, since any more detail would venture into spoiler territory. From the epic stunts to the breathtaking train ride in Tangier, 007 Spectre has to be seen at your local IMAX theater for a unique experience that’s both fully-realized and memorable. There were quite a few moments where I felt as if I was in the actual movie. It was quite magical. 

This magical feeling extended well into the night at the Day of the Dead-inspired reception that is beautifully produced and executed by Cynthia Lopell of CL22Productions. Well-appointed furniture, intricately-strung ambient lighting and exquisite floral arrangements are just a few aesthetic elements that transformed the intimate outdoor space at the IMAX headquarters. All the servers, bartenders and performers were similarly dressed and adorned to reflect the event’s high-fashion decor. And what would a 007 Spectre reception be without a delightful variety of cocktails (courtesy of Belvedere and Heineken) and hearty Mexican fare? Yeah, I thought so. 

Call it serendipity or plain coincidence, but this all happened right before my first trip to Mexico City that’s taking place a short two weeks from now. I couldn’t have envisioned a better way to get myself inspired and amped up for an adventurous trip!

A huge thanks to the IMAX team and CL22Productions for extending the invitation for me to attend the premiere screening and reception! Find out where an IMAX experience is near you here.

photography by andrew oxenham + maribel farina