A 40-foot holoscreen and projection mapping turned the Los Angeles Theater into a 4D spectacle for one special evening.
This past November 700 lucky individuals gathered inside the legendary Los Angeles Theater in Los Angeles, California for a special screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story presented by Oculus. What they didn’t realize, however, was that they would soon be immersed in a 4D cinematic experience that blurs the lines between VR and conventional film.
Prior to the screening of the 2016 Star Wars film, Oculus dropped a 40-foot holoscreen on-stage in front of the audience that—when combined with projection mapping technology—extended the action happening on-screen directly onto the walls and ceiling of the massive theater. The result was a captivating 4D spectacle that enveloped the entirety of the large room. On-screen, gameplay footage of a handful of VR experiences available on the Oculus Quest served as the catalysts for the colorful chaos happening throughout the historic space; this includes clips from popular titles such as Beat Saber, Moss, Echo Arena, and of course, Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series.
In addition to the overwhelming visuals filling the theater’s interior, the experience also featured laser arrays and spatial audio, as well as practical effects in the form of flying confetti.
With attendance rates at conventional movie theaters on a steady decline, it’s these types of hybrid immersive experiences that could very well save brick-and-mortar cinemas from obsolescence. Technology such as affordable 4K televisions and surround-sound audio systems have done wonders for the home theater experience; by employing the immersive capabilities afforded by projection mapping, holoscreens, and laser-mapping, modern theaters can offer jaw-dropping cinematic experiences that are nearly impossible for the average consumer to recreate at home.
Major theater chains, such as Regal Cinema and IMAX, have already been experimenting with 4D cinema experiences for some time. Regal’s 4DX, for example, enhances the standard film experience with 3D visuals, custom motion chairs, as well as additional haptic elements, such as real wind and additional strobe lighting effects.
While these specialized experiences have proven mildly successful at generating mass appeal, mainstream audiences remain skeptical of immersive technology. Perhaps less complex experiences, such as the one featured in Oculus’ Cinema Takeover, could serve as a more attractive middle ground for movie-goers still on the fence about 4D cinema.
Feature Image Credit: Oculus