Future of Film: Even Bigger Screens and, Cinema Selfies, by Carolyn Giardina

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Sep 042014

A panoramic theater opens in L.A. on Sept. 19 as other new tech includes live audience interaction onscreen

“As exhibitors try to fend off competition from ever-bigger home theater systems, movie houses may soon take their cues from the ’50s. Back then, to counter the arrival of TV, Hollywood retaliated by offering bigger — and wider — images onscreen, culminating in Cinerama. That panoramic theater configuration, which faded out by the end of the ’60s, left behind the landmark Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. But a new generation of even more ambitious theaters — possibly even including cinema’s first holodeck — is waiting in the wings.”

“Barco, the Belgian digital cinema projector manufacturer, already has unveiled what it calls “Escape, a configuration that uses a digital cinema screen in front of an audience with two more screens on the sides of a theater to create one wrap-around image. The first Escape theaters — which will include the Cinemark 18 & XD at the Promenade at the Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles — will open Sept. 19, showing a special edition of Fox’s new young adult thriller The Maze Runner. Though no movie has yet been shot to take full advantage of Escape’s three-screen setup, Escape theaters showing The Maze Runner will project the live-action movie on to the center screen, and the side screens will feature additional visual effects — extending the reach of the movie’s maze, for example.”

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The Hollywood Reporter