A company named Dreamscape wants to reinvent the movie night with the magic of virtual reality at their first permanent location in Century City.
Think movie, but you're a part of the action.
Dreamscape Immersive is a new company backed by Hollywood studios including 21st Century Fox, WarnerMedia, Viacom and legendary creators Steven Spielberg and Hans Zimmer. Their first location is now open at Westfield Century City mall and it's bringing virtual reality to the masses.
Actually, six people at a time. The setup is reminiscent of an old-timey movie theater and invokes a sense of mystery and wonder from the moment you step in.
You purchase tickets for a show - currently, there are three: An alien themed Zoo, an underwater adventure and another where you step into the action of an Indiana Jones style movie. I've done the Alien Zoo and Magic Projector experiences.
"Our backgrounds come from Disney Imagineering and motion pictures," explained Walter Parkes, co-founder of Dreamscape and the producer of Hollywood hits including Men in Black.
Parkes believes this is the future of entertainment. Movie style entertainment where there are no true spectators - everyone that attends is part of the action.
"That means our floors rumble, we have wind, we have a scent, we have many different physical effects that sort of add to the immersion and put you way inside the experience," said Parkes.
Small groups of six participate together, but first, you do have to put on a bunch of VR equipment including motion trackers on your hands and feet, a VR headset, plus a backpack to power it all.
Next, you head inside a special VR room. The best part is when they "turn on" the experience and suddenly you see an avatar-like virtual version of yourself and the other people in your group. It's tough to explain this moment but it's seriously cool.
The experience starts out as a typical movie, but then you are on your way, picking up tools and physically walking through the adventure. At one point you might be touching a creature you can actually feel, carrying a flashlight or walking through a maze. You're not moving very much - just around a small room - but it feels epic.
The best way I can describe it is ride slash adventure taking place in a make-believe world. The entire experience lasts less than 20 minutes.
"If you have expectations of VR based on what you’ve done - put them aside - because this is a very different experience," concludes Parkes.
AMC is an investor in Dreamscape, the company is working with them to open new locations at malls across America. The next locations are in Dallas, New Jersey, Long Island and Columbus. Tickets are $20.
Listen to the minds behind Dreamscape talk more about what makes the experience unique, and answer that all important question about how the VR equipment is cleaned between shows in the Rich on Tech podcast.