IMAX and Cineplex have partnered to launch a new IMAX VR experienced called ‘The Centre’ at Toronto’s downtown Scotiabank Theatre. The experience is located in the lobby of the theatre and features 360º sound, room-scale virtual reality interaction and is powered by the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. The Centre features specially designed pods that allow users to move around freely while interacting with virtual environments. The experience can also be adapted for different circumstances, including single and multi-user support.
“We are excited to be launching Canada’s first IMAX VR Centre at such an iconic location as the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto with our longstanding partner, Cineplex,” said Mark Welton, President, IMAX Theatres. “Together, we look forward to ushering in the next evolution of immersive entertainment and bringing the highly social and interactive IMAX VR experience to audiences in Toronto.”
“As one of our country’s leading entertainment destinations, we are always looking for new ways to evolve and offer a variety of innovative experiences to our guests,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. “We are proud to continue our partnership with IMAX for the launch of Canada’s first VR Centre and excited to demonstrate once again that we are more than just movies.”
IMAX is set to provide the centre with VR experiences, with each one being played via HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset and ranging between seven and 15 minutes in length. Current experiences include Ubisoft’s well-received Star Trek Bridge Crew Rescue, Skydance’s Archangel, an exclusive IMAX Justice League experience (whose debut at ComicCon we reported here), and more.
Cineplex and IMAX’s The Centre joins other recently opened Toronto VR arcades like House of VR. Given how expensive high-end VR devices like the HTC Vive remain, it makes sense for high-end VR to be available in pay-to-play arcade style spaces like The Centre until the technology becomes easier to use and more affordable.
The team at IMAX is also still figuring out what, exactly, theatergoers want out of a VR experience. According to Welton, over the first 10 months of the project people have gravitated to more social experiences; not just ones that are fun to play together, but also ones that are entertaining to watch as a group. (The VR pods feature low walls on one side so it’s easy to see people flailing about while pretending to be The Flash.) IMAX has also introduced a new color-coded system that gives you a better idea of what kind of VR experience you’re in for when you buy a ticket. Each individual experience is given a handful of qualifiers — such as “casual,” “action,” “physically active,” or “age restrictive” — so you know what you’re spending your hard-earned money on.
Tickets for all available IMAX VR experiences can be purchased on-site at The Centre. The price for each experience differs, according to Cincplex, ranging between $10 and $15. Source: Canada Newswire