While virtual reality gadgets can be entertaining, the fun is usually limited to one person at a time — not counting those who enjoy watching and laughing while you creep around the living room, groping the air). In an attempt to open up virtual reality to more people with new VR multiplexes offering an “immersive” experience.
AMC Entertainment announced today that it’s investing a total of $20 million into a company called Dreamscape Immersive, which has been developing something called “virtual-reality” multiplexes.
“Unlike other VR platforms, Dreamscape Immersive offers a social experience in which participants explore and interact with up to six people simultaneously, untethered from a computer, with full use of their senses – just as they would in the real world,” the companies’ announcement explains.
As part of the deal, AMC will finance six new VR centers over the next year and a half both in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Some of those centers will be within AMC cinemas, while others will be standalone locations. Dreamscape’s flagship location will open at Century City Mall in Los Angeles in 2018.
As for the virtual environments themselves, Dreamscape says it recently green-lit its first piece of original content, and is having licensing chats with “several major studios. It’s not just AMC that sees a chance to get in on the virtual reality action, either: Other investors include Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, IMAX, and director Steven Spielberg.
“We were mesmerized by what we saw,” Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, told The New York Times. “Their vision is to change what V.R. has been — away from just a heightened level of video game and toward cinematic storytelling — and we think it’s what consumers have been waiting for.”