Paramount Pictures, in partnership with Bigscreen, is launching the first virtual reality movie theater.
On December 3, anyone with a VR headset can sign on to the Bigscreen website to experience “Top Gun 3D” in a virtual theater. The experience creates an entire virtual cinema, with theater seating and trailers before the film. Moviegoers can even chat with the people sitting nearby before the movie starts.
For the next 24 hours and in 30-minute increments after the initial debut, viewers can watch “Top Gun” in 3D for free.
If this trial period goes well, virtual movie theaters could become a new staple of the film industry. “It launches a possible new platform for the film business,” said Tom Hayes, SVP New Media at Paramount. Hayes mentioned the possibility of adding bonus content to the experience, such as filmmaker Q&As, games, or trivia. As Hayes told Deadline, Paramount wants to “start the conversation” about virtual movie theaters.
Paramount and Bigscreen collaborated with several leading virtual reality tech companies, such as Oculus, Samsung, HTC, and Microsoft, among others, to create the experience.
According to Deadline, Paramount has a few more movies lined up for the virtual theater experience in 2018, though no titles have been announced yet.