In-Your-Face Movies

Dallas-area theater introduces rare immersive movie experience

Dallas-area theater introduces rare immersive movie experience

Movie theaters need to pull out all the stops to draw people in nowadays, and one local theater is now experimenting with what could be the next evolution: Barco Escape, which utilizes three screens to envelop the audience in the movie.

Cinemark is debuting the new technology at five theaters nationwide, including Cinemark Legacy and XD in Plano, as well as one in Belgium. The first film to be showcased on those three screens is The Maze Runner, which opened on September 19.

Barco Escape includes three special screens — one directly in front of the audience and two more jutting out on both sides. The two on the side will come to life at key points in the film, which for The Maze Runner is during two sequences, totaling about five minutes worth of screen time.

This is similar to what happens during some IMAX films, only instead of the screen expanding vertically, the audience will suddenly find their entire field of vision taken up by the action on the screens.

Frugal moviegoers will be pleased to note that Cinemark is charging normal prices for 2D movies for Barco Escape — the film is not in 3D, as that might be a bit too immersive — instead of tacking on extra fees for the privilege of seeing something new.

For right now, Barco Escape is still in the experimental phase. They are asking for feedback from those who choose to see the film in the new format at ready2escape.com. Presumably, if they receive enough positive feedback, the screens will stay in place to enhance future film experiences.

Barco Escape at Cinemark
Barco Escape is debuting exclusively at Cinemark Legacy and XD in Plano with The Maze Runner. Photo courtesy of Barco Escape