It’s cold out there. Curl up by the fire with a month-long digital subscription for only $1.

Sign in or Subscribe
See Offers Only time will tell if ‘cinematic VR’ is the wave of the future … or destined for the hollywood scrap heap of big ideas that go nowhere.

LOS ANGELES — The Westfield Century City mall runs a dozen of the latest blockbusters at its modern movie theater here, but recently some of the most cutting-edge entertainment was playing one story below, at a pop-up store across from Bloomingdale’s. That’s where groups of six could enter a railed-off area, don backpacks and headsets, and wander in the dark around the “Alien Zoo,” a 12-minute virtual-reality outer-space experience with echoes of “Jurassic Park.” By bringing the piece to the mall, “Zoo” producer Dreamscape Immersive – it counts Steven Spielberg among its investors – hopes it has cracked a major challenge bedeviling the emerging form of entertainment known as cinematic VR.

Cinematic VR allows viewers to live entirely inside a film. They put on goggles and look at the universe around them – behind, above, anywhere they turn their gaze – and still see the world of the movie.

Some in the entertainment industry view it as perhaps the greatest advance in entertainment since the addition of sound to movies nearly a century ago, involving the senses in ways they’re not involved when the real world is visible next to a screen. But while investors in Hollywood and elsewhere have poured in hundreds of millions of dollars, drawing top talent and yielding a creative explosion, cinematic VR has produced little in the way of commercial success or popular acceptance. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of