'The Lord Of The Rings' Trilogy Will Play In IMAX This Month, But You Probably Shouldn't Risk Going Back To The Movies Just Yet

The Lord of the Rings trilogy never screened in IMAX – but that's about to change. The three acclaimed entries in Peter Jackson's beloved Middle-earth saga will screen on IMAX screens in 4K for the first time ever this month, and if things were normal right now, that would be incredibly exciting news! But things aren't normal right now. There's still a very deadly pandemic, and it's probably not the best idea to go to a movie theater right now. Just saying.

Back in the summer of 2020, the AV Club talked to Dr. Anne W. Rimoin, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center For Global And Immigrant Health at the University Of California, and epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed and asked if it was safe to return to movie theaters while COVID-19 was still around. Dr. Rimoin said, "You should definitely not be in an indoor area where you'd be taking your mask off, not even for eating. Movie theaters have all of that." And Dr. El-Sayed stated: "I'm a huge fan of movies. I really enjoy them. They're a great way to have some fun and escape from the world—which we need, especially right now. But going to see a movie in an indoor movie theater, it's just about the last thing I would do right now. "

Now, here we are in early 2021, and the coronavirus is still around. Yes, there's more hope now thanks to a vaccine. And yes, movie theaters have been open in some capacity for a few months now. But the risk is still very real, and as much as I miss going to the movies, returning to a theater right now still seems very risky.

And yet...here we are, about to bring you the news that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is headed to IMAX this month. This will mark the first time these larger-than-life epics will play on IMAX screens, and that's pretty damn exciting! But any flame of excitement is immediately extinguished by the fact that it's just not a great time to return to the movies.

To be fair, IMAX said in September that "health and safety remain our highest priority," and that they had "joined partners around the world in their pledges, including #CinemaSafe in the U.S. (link here) and more, to make sure that the many film enthusiasts worldwide are welcomed back safely." But the risk is still there. In the end, it's your choice whether or not you want to take that risk.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings will open in IMAX theatres on February 5, 2021The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers will open in select IMAX theatres on February 12, 2021. And The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will open in select IMAX theatres on February 12, 2021. More info can be found here.