World’s First Permanent VR Cinema Opens in Amsterdam, and It’s Very Weird
By Raymond Wong
Instead of going into a theater and watching a movie on a huge projection screen, your next movie experience could be one with a VR headset strapped to your face.
In 2015, Samhoud Media experimented with what it calls the VR Cinema, using pop-up theaters around Europe. But last week, the company announced it’s going all in with VR movie theaters with the opening of its first permanent VR Cinema theater in Amsterdam.
More permanent VR Cinemas are expected to open in other cities — London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid — later this year.
Unlike a traditional movie theater, the VR Cinema doesn’t have a screen with seats facing it. Instead, moviegoers sit in swivel chairs and put on a Samsung Gear VR and a pair of Sennheiser HD 201 headphones. Viewers can turn freely in their chairs to see the VR movie in 360 degrees.
Calling the VR content “movies” is a bit of a stretch. The website provides no information on what viewers will actually see when they pay €12,50 (about $14) for a ticket. According toVentureBeat, the experience is a “package of VR films that last around 35 minutes in total.”
These VR video clips are basically designed to show off how immersive VR can be.
Virtual reality is poised to make a splash this year. Major VR headsets like the Oculus Rift andHTC Vive are launching in a couple of weeks and will give consumers a taste of what great VR can be like. Samsung’s Gear VR, which is powered by a smartphone, launched last year and has already become a hit.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that more than 1 million hours of VR video content has been viewed with the Gear VR.
It’s too early to tell if VR movie theaters will become a thing. But one thing is for sure: It’ll always be strange as hell to sit in a room where everyone has a VR headset on. It’s like you’re all there, but not there because you can’t see each other.
The VR Cinema is located at Oosterdokskade 5, 1011 AD Amsterdam, in case you’re in the neighborhood and feel like checking it out.
Article was originally posted here