You know you’re on a superyacht when the owner invites you into their on-board IMAX theatre. Or, you will when a new project initiated by Yacht Intelligence makes it into production.

“We started this almost just to prove everybody wrong,” Alan Bernardi of Yacht Intelligence said to me when he showed me a project update. “You can put an IMAX on a yacht, and we’re going to prove it.” 

IMAX is without question one of the most immersive and premier cinema experiences available anywhere in the world. James Cameron, JJ Abrams and Christopher Nolan have all extolled the virtues of the Canadian company’s brilliance in combining the biggest, clearest picture with the best sound and unmatched theatre design. An IMAX screen, its aspect ratio and the arrangement of seats are designed to fill the viewer’s peripheral vision. IMAX’s in-house architects work out the geometry of the room to make sure that every seat gets the full experience. And sound is just as important as the image: IMAX uses uncompressed sound with 10 times the dynamic range of a normal cinema. Every speaker in an IMAX theatre is hand-made for that specific room. So there is no doubt: IMAX would be a big thing to install on a yacht.



Their plan is audacious, but by teaming up with iconic designer Ken Freivokh and IMAX itself, Bernardi and his partner Matt Jarvis plan to see their idea through to execution. Along with his team, and in close conjunction with Bernardi and Jarvis, Freivokh has realised a design for a complete IMAX private theatre within the hull of a 150m project currently under development. Though drawings are not yet available for publication, the styling we’ve seen is a pure confluence of hi-tech design, capability and aesthetic for which Freivokh is already so well known.

While final designs are developed, Yacht Intelligence and Freivokh continue to explore unique uses for the space, which could also be used as a games room, a corporate meeting room or a relaxing multimedia lounge.

“We’ve spent the last 10 days working closely with IMAX and the interpretation of their comments and feedback has produced a cool space,” Bernardi explained. “There are two variants being completed today so not far off a final room. One thing that has surprised me with all this is how we started out with an IMAX box and then pushed it further by coming up with a non-traditional shape.”

“It sometimes comes to bite us, but we try to be very innovative,” Freivokh said. “We are always looking to evoke a unique feeling by developing uncommon spaces that are fundamentally spectacular. In this case we’re excited about the idea of the potential this this kind of a space provides. The first IMAX cinema on a yacht will be very special.”

We're following these amazing developments and will have a full report in the forthcoming Monaco Yacht Show edition of our sister publication, The Superyacht Report.