Cinema Giant goes VR in New Entertainment Facilities
Theater giant AMC plans to open new immersive virtual reality centers in its new Dreamscape Immersive franchise by mid-2018. The website The Verge reviews the experience’s prototype and takes a peek at the future of entertainment:
The notion that virtual reality is going to be the next great storytelling medium has run into some bumps along the way. There’s still no real sense of what a great VR experience should actually be, and even less of an idea of how it can be turned into a viable business. Today, AMC Entertainment is announcing a partnership that will bring VR to its movie theaters starting in 2018, and its partner may be a key player in shaping what audiences will come to expect from virtual reality in the years to come.
That partner is Dreamscape Immersive, a Los Angeles-based startup that’s brought together Hollywood names like Steven Spielberg and producer Walter Parkes, all in the name of creating multi-person, room-scale VR stories and adventures. Under the deal, AMC will bring up to six of Dreamscape Immersive’s VR centers to both the United States and the UK over the next 18 months. Some of the centers will repurpose existing movie theaters, while others will be standalone installations. They will join Dreamscape’s flagship center, which is scheduled to open at the Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles in the first quarter of next year.
Location-based VR centers certainly aren’t a new idea. The Void has already set a standard for custom-built locations, and IMAX has begun rolling out its own VR arcades, utilizing more off-the-shelf games and experiences. Dreamscape aims to strike a kind of middle ground between the two, and an early demo I experienced recently in Los Angeles was impressive.