Cineplex has expanded its exclusive agreement with immersive entertainment company The VOID to open new VOID Experience Centres across Canada.
The VOID combines virtual reality (VR) technology with physical stages and multisensory effects, including touch and smell, to allow attendees to become active participates in social activities.
The first location has been successfully operating at Cineplex's The Rec Room in downtown Toronto since last summer, and offers the Ghostbusters: Dimension experience. This new agreement gives Cineplex exclusive rights to operate The VOID concept in Canada.
Cineplex plans to open a minimum of five VOID Experience Centres over the coming years, both inside and outside of Cineplex-operated properties. The first will be at the West Edmonton Mall location of The Rec Room, which is scheduled to open this summer, marking the second VOID location in Canada.
"Entertaining people is what we do best," says Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex, "and this truly immersive, engaging and interactive experience is a great addition to our growing list of entertainment offerings."
"We're committed to transporting everyone, everywhere on virtual adventures," adds Cliff Plumer, CEO of The VOID. "To deliver on that promise, The VOID will continue to open our unique entertainment centres in key markets and major destination cities. Through our partnership with Cineplex, The VOID will bring immersive VR - through sight, sound, touch, smell and motion - to a broad consumer audience."
Each VOID Experience Center offers a shared, multi-person experience, with original as well as known storylines from favourite franchises like Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which was developed by ILMxLAB, and the aforementioned Ghostbusters: Dimensions. The locations include custom stages with a variety of sensory effects that are designed to draw participants into the digital world that's mapped over the physical space. Participants use head mounted displays (HMDs), backtop computers, and haptic vests to fully experience all of the sensory effects. With Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which will open at West Edmonton Mall and launch in Toronto later this fall, four guests enter at a time, and must work together to infiltrate an Imperial base disguised as stormtroopers. They navigate through to steal critical intelligence with help from familiar Star Wars characters along the way.
The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.