Barco Escape

At some point, movie theaters found themselves in the unfortunate position of playing catch up. Where theaters were once the epicenter for entertainment, rising ticket prices and the exponential improvement of home theater technology have all but pushed them to the endangered species list.

Innovation was needed. IMAX was a good start. A screen so big no home can duplicate it. 3D is a mixed bag. It’s more expensive and, frankly, better in the home setting. Sound systems such as Dolby Atmos are great, but most of what makes it special is very nuisanced.

So what’s next? Well, it might be Barco Escape, a technology influenced by the super Cinerama craze of the 1960s, where an additional screen is placed on either side of your normal screen, giving a massive panoramic experience. The first film to be presented in Barco Escape is this week’s release, The Maze Runner. Five theaters across the country are offering the film in Barco Escape and myself and Peter Sciretta just had to try it out for ourselves.

Below, read more about Barco Escape and watch a video blog of our thoughts, criticisms and praise for what the company is calling “a little taste of the future.” Read More »

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maze runner panoramic

A new panoramic process, the modern version of Cinerama, is on the immediate horizon. The ultra-wide screen projection process Cinerama had a brief heyday in the ’50s, when the 146° arc of the Cinerama screen was one of several challenges to television mounted by studios and theater owners. Now, giant-screen exhibition is limited to IMAX, a few dome projections, and special event setups such as the Warner Bros. domination of Hall H at Comic Con, where fully half the hall was wrapped in projection screens.

A company called Barco is now pushing a display tech it calls Escape, in which two additional screens are positioned on either side of a primary cinema screen to create a panoramic image. Now, the first Escape auditoriums are being finished, and The Maze Runner will be the first film to take advantage of them, starting September 19.  Read More »

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