Wraparound Projection System Barco Escape Gets Tested with 'The Maze Runner'

Five specially equipped theaters will be debuting the immersive experience this weekend.
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Five specially equipped theaters will be debuting the immersive experience this weekend.

Barco Escape, the new wraparound projection system that involves content being shown on three cinema screens, will be making its public debut in five specially equipped theaters this weekend with the release of TheMaze Runner.

As Barco CinemaVangelist Ted Schilowitz explains in the Escape introduction video found below, the concept of the system came from the desire to inject something more unique and immersive to the moviegoing experience. “When you ask the simple question of why does the moviegoing experience have to be on a single plane of viewing especially when the home viewing experience is getting more and more cinematic,” he says. “People are buying larger and larger screens. They’re making the choice of staying at home and watching a movie. And we’re saying, what if we can create a more interesting, even more entertaining experience than you can get at home, and a reason to go to the cinema. “

“We’re filling your vision with a visual treat that has really only been seen in very large theme park installations and we’re bringing that kind of level of entertainment to your local cinema and bringing it worldwide,” he explains.

Celluloid Junkie’s J. Sperling Reich got a sneak peek of the experience and presents a full write-up of some of its boons as well as some of its issues. “Selecting Maze Runner as the first title to be shown in Escape was an ideal choice for a couple of reasons. First, it is a CG-heavy movie set in what appears to be the near-future wherein the characters spend a great deal of time running through a maze of high concrete walls…The side screens worked perfectly to create the illusion that we were trapped in the maze alongside our heroes,” he writes, while also noting “two drawbacks of Escape that Barco will no doubt be working on. Because a majority of the film was shown without images appearing on the additional screens, the white surface of the two side screens reflected light from the main screen back into the theater which was noticeable enough to be distracting at times…Similarly, the stadium seating found in modern multiplexes becomes a liability since the front rows of the theater fall below the side screens providing even less advantageous sight-lines than they do with just a traditional single screen.”

Read the full story here.

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