In May 2016, IMAX announced that it would be opening virtual reality theaters to provide a better VR movie experience. They also announced to launch the theaters by the end of 2016 while it took a bit longer but now it has opened its first IMAX VR theater in the Los Angles. Its flagship virtual reality theater is located on the Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.
There won’t be any large, wraparound screens but small, immersive headsets; it allows anyone to experience the VR without buying a video game console or high-end gaming PC. The theater isn’t like ordinary cinema rather everyone would have a seat in a large room with a display, the IMAX VR theater features ‘pods’ in which each viewer will have their own unique VR experience.
In Los Angeles, the IMAX VR Theater offers a mix of HTC Live headsets and Star breeze Star VR. It features a total of 14 pods, which all are located in a large room. These headsets are placed inside 14 isolated pods, which also contain a Dbox cinema chair, a vibration-emitting Subpac vest, and physical controllers. Each pod has its own experience, one of which is the “Star Wars: Trials of Tatooine” experience. These pods use the HTC Vive VR headset, sensory vest, HUD and a controller.
People can buy individually or experience a ‘sampler’ if they want to experience VR in different ways. And now many people want to try and pay for the experience VR on a regular basis. However, at the launch, IMAX offered different VR games and movies like Eagle Flight, Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine and The Walk etc. To be prominent in the market, they are also working on exclusive content. IMAX is also planning to open more VR theaters in New York, California, United Kingdom and China.