Everyone’s heard of “The IMAX Experience” by now, but a new tri-screen theater system that was demonstrated this week at CinemaCon 2014 in Las Vegas may soon be the new “it” movie-going experience.
At CinemaCon 2014, currently in its last day in session in Las Vegas, projection manufacturer Barco demonstrated “Escape,” a tri-screen system that’s exactly what it sounds like. In addition to the traditional screen moviegoers are used to, the Escape system features two additional screens on both sides of the main screen. The tri-screen system required the use of three projectors, one for each screen.
Fans who attended certain Hall H presentations at last year’s San Diego Comic Con may remember experiencing tri-screen film clips and trailers. Warner Brothers was one studio that utilized three massive screens in the hall to showcase their film lineup including The Seventh Son, LEGO Movie, and Godzilla.
When explaining the new theater system, Barco’s Ted Schilowitz said, “The goal is to provide a bigger, more intense, more encompassing canvas, to extend the boundaries of cinema, to open the possibilities of what happens when you break out of the rectangle.”
Showing a clip from this fall’s young adult film adaptation The Maze Runner and short film Ruin, both directed by Wes Ball, Barco used The Maze Runner’s massive maze as the centerpiece of their demonstration of the new system. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the tri-screen system could be installed in a theater as early as next month.
It’s easy to imagine that trying to watch three screens at once quickly becoming annoying for a viewer, but Fox executive Ted Gagliano admitted it might be better suited for selected scenes rather than an entire movie, a technique IMAX films use as well.
Theater owners wanting to invest in the tri-screen system could use their own screens and configurations, running them “anywhere between $135,000-$185,000.” This would not include the cost of Barco’s 4k laser projector, which was also demonstrated at CinemaCon. In addition to Escape being used in theaters, Barco also demonstrated the tri-screen system being used for lobby projections, so that theaters can screen trailers for audiences and drawing them to the experience.
The biggest question is, what are audiences going to have to pay to experience this new tri-screen system? Ticket prices have been on the rise for years and theater owners will no doubt be looking to earn back their investment costs into the system as quickly as possible.
How much more would you be willing to pay for a tri-screen Escape theater experience?
[Image via Variety]