In anticipation of the September 18 release of Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on Blu-ray, the first Indy adventure is getting a special one-week engagement in select Imax theaters across the country.
Raiders of the Lost Ark will play on the GIANT screen from September 7-13 in a re-mastered print up-converted from 35 mm to 70mm. Spielberg described the process:
"There’s two fronts, on any successful conversion, to Imax resolution, which is significantly clearer and sharper, with much more depth and fidelity than the movie appeared in theaters in 1981. So the first tier is where you take the DI [digital intermediate] and you enhance the resolution to Imax resolution. The second tier is that the sound is significantly different. They take the [audio] stems that we gave them, and they put them through their 12,000 watts of digital surround sound, and it’s a totally uncompressed experience.
"You kind of feel the sound in your chest, like when the boulder is rolling, chasing Indy through the cave. You really feel the boulder in your stomach, the way you do when a marching band passes by and you’re standing right next to it."
For further information about how a regular film gets converted to Imax, see this excellent piece.
None of Raiders' special effects have been altered in any way from the original version for this release -- only the audio has been bumped up for Imax's hefty digital surround sound systems.
For more insight from Steven Spielberg about this and other projects, check out his extended interview with The NY Times.