Imax brings VR to the multiplex

Cinema-goers can try virtual reality with their popcorn in a partnership between Imax and the UK's Odeon and UCI movie theatres.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
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Michael Bay is one of the filmmakers exploring the possibilities of VR.

The Rogue Initiative

VR is already in our living rooms with headsets like the Oculus, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR . Now you'll be able to experience VR when you head to the movies too.

Big-screen specialist Imax is rolling out a pilot plan to put VR centres in movie theatres around the world. On Tuesday, Imax announced a partnership with UK cinema chain Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group, which is owned by US movie theatre chain AMC.

The plan is to open a VR centre at Manchester's Printworks Odeon before the end of 2016. To try it out, you'll be invited to step into a pod where a few headsets made by Starbreeze and Acer await you. You'll then don headsets for VR experiences made by movie and gaming studios, ranging from five to 15 minutes long.

This is the first such setup in Europe. Los Angeles will be the first city to have an Imax VR centre, with other cities in China, Japan, the US and Europe set to follow. These various pilot plans will test how customers react and figure out how much people will pay to use the VR systems.