'The Lion King' Remake's Musical Scenes Will Expand to Fill the Screen in Select IMAX Theatres

'The Lion King' Remake's Musical Scenes Will Expand to Fill the Screen in Select IMAX Theatres


Jon Favreau‘s The Lion King has proven somewhat divisive among critics, but most agree that his new film is, at the very least, a jaw-dropping technical achievement. Through the use of new technology, Favreau found a way to make a remake of a 25-plus-year-old movie feel like an event – something studios seem to be struggling with as rival franchise entries have been flopping left and right this year.

Now word has arrived that certain The Lion King IMAX theaters will play a version of the movie that’s been specifically formatted for IMAX screens, in which the movie’s biggest musical numbers will expand vertically to fill up the entire screen. Find out which theaters are hosting these screenings below.

According to IMAX’s website, “select musical sequences of The Lion King have been specially formatted exclusively for IMAX theatres – which means that during these scenes, the picture will expand vertically to fill the entire IMAX screen.” That’s good news for those who want to be immediately pulled into the cinematic version of the pride lands, because as you know, the film opens with a practically beat-for-beat rendition of “The Circle of Life.”

Light spoilers for The Lion King ahead.

But the fact that only “select” musical sequences are getting this full IMAX treatment spells bad news for “Be Prepared,” a song some thought would not even be in the movie at all thanks to an early statement by Elton John in which he failed to mention it in the film’s track list. “Be Prepared” is, in fact, in the movie – but it’s such a limp, halfhearted version of the song that I’m guessing the film will not expand in IMAX during that scene. It’s probably for the best – it would only result in a more disappointing experience as you stared at all of the extra room in the frame in which the filmmakers could have attempted to match the gloriously over-the-top moment in the animated original.

The Lion King IMAX Screenings

Here’s the list of where you can watch these specially formatted screenings:


  • AMC Metreon 16 & IMAX — San Francisco
  • AMC Universal Citywalk Stadium 19 & IMAX — Los Angeles
  • IMAX Dome Theater, The Tech Museum — San Jose



  • Autonation IMAX, Museum of Discovery & Science — Fort Lauderdale



  • Navy Pier IMAX at AMC — Chicago



  • Sunbrella IMAX 3D Theater Reading — Reading



  • Branson’s IMAX – Entertainment Complex — Branson


New York

  • AMC Lincoln Square 13 & IMAX — New York



  • IMAX, The Bullock Texas State History Museum — Austin



  • Airbus IMAX, Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center — Chantilly



  • Boeing IMAX, Pacific Science Center — Seattle


Washington, D.C.

  • Lockheed Martin IMAX, National Air & Space Museum — Washington


Ontario, Canada

  • Scotiabank Toronto & IMAX — Toronto



  • IMAX, Melbourne Museum — Carlton



  • Fusion Superflex & IMAX — Nassau



  • Dongguan South China Wanda IMAX Theatre — Dongguan
  • Harbin Entime Tailai Era IMAX Theatre — Harbin
  • Kunming Panxing Dadu LCC & IMAX — Kunming



  • 109 Cinemas Osaka Expocity & IMAX — Osaka
  • IMAX, Melbourne Museum — Carlton



  • CGV Yongsan I-Park Mall & IMAX — Hangang-ro-3ga, Yongsan-gu


New Zealand

  • Event Cinemas Queen Street & IMAX — Auckland



  • Miramar IMAX — Taipei City


The Lion King arrives in North American theaters on July 19, 2019.

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