Massive Panoramic Screens are the Movie Revolution 3D Never Could Be

By Leslie Horn on at

TVs are getting bigger, their resolutions higher, and overall, home cinema systems are giving people a reason to stay at home. So to reel people back in to the box office, Hollywood is taking a cue from the 60s by installing even bigger screens in cinemas.

The Hollywood Reporter says Belgian projector manufacturer has made a new panoramic cinema setup called Escape. It's a 270-degree experience that features one main screen in the middle and two supplementary screens on either side, creating one giant, immersive, wraparound picture.

There are only five Escape cinemas in the US right now and they'll all be hosting special screenings of Maze Runner, a new young adult thriller based on the book of the same name to show off the tech.

But it's worth noting that neither Maze nor any other movie has been filmed specifically for an Escape cinema. Regardless, it drops you right inside the movie, which for these screenings, will be shown on the main screen, and extra visual effects, like a extension of the film's maze, shown on the side screens.

Getting people to film in way that works for three screens is the main challenge for a panoramic movies. If that sounds strangely familiar, it's because getting studios to film in the right format is a hurdle 3D movies have yet to clear too. But Escape is not the lone soldier in its mission for massive screens. There's a German company called Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits that's developing a 360-degree camera system—they filmed the World Cup, the footage from which will be shown in planned 360-degree cinema in Munich's FIFA World Football Museum. Then there's a company called Jaunt working on 360-degree cinematic VR.

So, sure. Movies have been using gimmicks to sell tickets forever. Think Smell-O-Vision, IMAX, 3D, etc. The list goes on! But this is one that might actually work. [THR]