Dreamscape Immersive, a new Los Angeles-based startup for location-based virtual reality, wants to open a VR Multiplex in Los Angeles this coming September. The facility will use untehered VR headsets to allow consumers to move freely through a space and interact with real and virtual objects as well as with each other.
“Today, audiences can see movies in theaters in three formats: 2D, 3D, and IMAX. Dreamscape establishes the Fourth Platform – VR,” said Dreamscape co-chairman Kevin Wall in a statement. “Now, audiences will have the ability to purchase a ticket, step inside of the story and experience it personally in a way never before imagined.”
Dreamscape only emerged out of stealth this Monday, and little is known about the company apart from an impressive list of execs and backers. Wall is an Emmy-award-winning producer who spent three decades producing live concert events; his co-chairman Walter Parkes helped create DreamWorks Pictures and served as the studio’s president for over a decade. His production credits include movies like “Sweeney Todd,” “Minority Report” and “The Kite Runner,” and he co-wrote “Wargames.”
The company’s CEO is Bruce Vaughn, who until last year was Chief Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering. Dreamscape has raised $11 million in funding in a round led by Bold Capital, with contributions from Warner Bros. 21st Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), IMAX Corporation, Westfield Corporation, and Steven Spielberg. Advisors include star designer Yves Behar and legendary film music composer Hans Zimmer.
The first location for a Dreamscape Multiplex will be the Westfield’s Century City Mall, which is undergoing remodeling and expansion. The company plans to launch additional locations next year.
Dreamscape Immersive isn’t the only company looking to cash in on location-based virtual reality entertainment, charging consumers for tickets instead of having them buy an expensive headset to use at home. Others include Imax, which recently opened its own VR center in Los Angeles, as well as The VOID, whose new CEO Cliff Plumer told Variety last week that he wants to open multiple new locations across the U.S. this year as well.
How will Dreamscape’s VR multiplex be different once it opens its doors later this year? The honest answer is that we don’t quite know yet — the company is still keeping its cards close to its chest, and not revealing what kind of experiences it is going to offer. However, Dreamscape has said that its multiplex will be powered by technology from Swiss tech and arts foundation Artanim, which has shown off some of its work at Sundance and elsewhere.
Here’s a video of one of the experiences built by Artanim:
Dreamscape said Monday that Artanim co-founders CaeciliaCharbonnier and Sylvain Chagué will serve as co-CTOs of the company.
Update: 12:00pm: This post was updated with additional information about the funding of the company, as well as plans for additional locations.