IMAX has launched four pilot IMAX virtual reality (VR) experience centres in Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto and Shanghai. Today the company has announced the latest – and the first in Europe – partnering with ODEON Cinemas Group opening a new centre at the intu Trafford Centre in Manchester, UK.
Providing location-based, state-of-the-art VR experiences, the centre is located in the lobby of the ODEON at intu Trafford Centre, employing a new design – proprietary to IMAX – that consists of ten “pods” to allow multiple players to enjoy highly interactive, moveable VR experiences. The pods, which are designed to optimise user mobility and interaction in virtual environments, can be adapted for specific content experiences – whether single or multi-user – and feature HTC Vive headsets, 360-degree sound and roomscale tracking.
“Our ODEON at the intu Trafford Centre is already one of the most innovative and popular cinemas in Europe, and now the launch of the IMAX VR Experience will make it one of the most unique cinemas in the world,” said Mark Way, Managing Director ODEON Cinemas Group. Our guests will be awe-struck by the power of the IMAX technology and the quality of the content from the world’s most creative studios and developers. We have a great history of working closely with our partners at IMAX to bring guests the very best entertainment, and this is another massive step forward. We’re delighted that our guests in Manchester will the first in Europe to enjoy it, and look forward to welcoming everyone to an unforgettable experience.”
In terms of content IMAX will provide the Experience Centre with an ongoing array of new, interactive experiences that range between 8 to 15 minutes in length. To begin with, the ODEON at intu Trafford Centre will include IMAX VR exclusive runs of Ubisoft’s Star Trek: Bridge Crew Rescue at Perseph and the newly launched Justice League, an IMAX VR exclusive from Warner Bros. It’ll also feature Survios’ Raw Data and Eagle Flight.
“We are excited to join forces with our longtime partner ODEON to unveil the next evolution of immersive entertainment in Europe – starting with the launch of the IMAX VR Centre in Manchester,” added Giovanni Dolci, Managing Director, Europe & Africa, IMAX Corporation. “IMAX VR brings the best VR technology and content together in a highly social and interactive setting that will let you and your friends become a part of the experience like never before.”