'Picard' IMAX Plan Is Mind Meld Of TV And Cinema

A plan announced Tuesday to premiere the upcoming final two episodes of “Star Trek: Picard” in IMAX theaters a day before their streaming debut is further evidence that TV and the cinema are melding into the same thing.

The TV Blog has long held that the rise of subscription screening and the decline of movie theaters is related to the cinematic quality of much of our television content today.

In addition, the quality of the equipment available to households today makes watching a movie at home somewhat akin to the movie-theater experience -- and for many, a better one.

A format that cannot be duplicated in the home is big-screen IMAX, which is Hollywood’s best medium for showcasing its biggest action movies such as “Top Gun: Maverick,” “John Wick: Chapter Four” and James Bond movies, to name a few.



It is a big stage for a movie, and an even bigger one for a TV show. Paramount+ and CBS Studios, which made the joint announcement, apparently feel that the cinematic qualities of these two episodes of “Star Trek: Picard” make them equal to the IMAX experience.

Not only that, but a “Star Trek” event in IMAX theaters is sure to be a hot ticket. The tickets, which are free, will be available on starting at a fixed time: 10 a.m. Pacific and 1 p.m. Eastern, on Wednesday -- today (April 12).

That means millions will be trying to secure tickets at the same time, a scenario that has the potential to break the internet -- at least figuratively, if not literally.

But a frenzy like that will only heighten the excitement for these “Picard” episodes. The IMAX showings will be held on Wednesday, April 19, one week after the big ticket-giveaway day. The episodes will start streaming on Paramount+ the following day.

Fans who are lucky enough to score tickets will receive a “Picard” final-season poster and complimentary concessions, said the news release from Paramount+ and CBS Studios.

These IMAX showings will be held in 10 cities: Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Atlanta and Dallas.

Ticketholders who are lucky enough to attend the Los Angeles screening will get to participate in a Q&A afterwards with the stars of “Picard” -- Patrick Stewart (pictured above), LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Terry Matalas.

The Q&A will be streamed live on Paramount+.

“Star Trek: Picard” premiered in January 2020 on what was then known as CBS All Access, which was later replaced by the much bigger Paramount+ in May 2021.

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