Never in the history of cinema has the experience of watching a movie offered viewers so many choices. When you go to the box office, you not only have to choose a movie but also how to see it. Will that be 2D? 3D? IMAX? IMAX 3D? Ultra AVX? Dolby Atmos? The way we consume film has changed so much in a short period, thanks to rapid advances in both home and professional technology. In fact, the vast majority of movies do not even use film anymore either in production or presentation.
At the same time, there has also been a rise in nostalgia for the way people used to see movies. The drive-ins that have managed to hang on, experienced a rise in attendance the past few years. We have also had the arrival of something truly unique and an innovation that we at Farley cannot help but applaud; the inflatable movie screen.
Measuring anywhere from 12-100 feet, these portable screens can be set up just about anywhere. Add a laptop, a video projector, a nice quality DVD or Blu-ray, and a decent set of speakers and your family can enjoy movie night under the stars right in your backyard.
The ease and portability of this format has not escaped the attention of entrepreneurs around the globe. Innovative programmers have found some truly unique places to screen films. The UK’s Secret Cinema has taken the lead offering by movies in outdoor environments that also promise to immerse the viewer in the worlds the films depict. It is a concept that has resonated with audiences as demonstrated by the huge success of the company’s screenings of BACK TO THE FUTURE and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
This got us thinking about what it would be like to watch a movie in an air-supported dome. With so much space, it makes perfect sense! One immediate advantage over the drive-in and backyard experience would be the climate control our domes offer. No worry about rain outs or insects or the projectionist starting the movie before the sun was completely down.
Even the biggest IMAX screen could not compete with watching a movie inside a dome. This would be particularly impressive with 3D: imagine how much more impact a spaceship or meteor floating toward you would have when you are in such a huge, darkened space?
So far, we don’t know if any of our domes have been used this way, but it is a fun concept to consider. Can you truly immerse yourself in the vastness of the STAR WARS universe when you know that there are walls a few dozen feet on either side of you? The enormity of the sound in a dome would certainly be more appropriate for a laser blazing intergalactic battle between X-Wing and TIE fighters.
Or you could aim for the surreal and screen such dome-set movies as SILENT RUNNING, LOGAN’S RUN, and even BIO-DOME. Tonight’s feature is presented in FarleyVision™. File that one under “Innovations We Would Like to See!”