Cinemas have long history and have been around for more than a hundred years now, changing over time from a simple black and white projection on a much smaller screen to the multiplexes offering 3D, 4D, 5D movies in quality that for the people then would be hard to imagine. Looking for the technology that has appeared in the recent years, it’s hard to think what else could come up on the market that would revolutionise cinematic world once again and make it more relevant than it is now. What is the future of cinemas and will they be able to win with TV?
The changes that threaten cinemas
Over the past few years, there have been many streaming services that came up out of nowhere and changed the television culture massively. Binge-watching movies in great quality at the comfort of your own home, on a television screen that is almost as big as your wall sounds like a dream for those who hate people talking, eating popcorn and generally disturbing the watching experience in cinema.
At the same time, the way we watch movies in cinema hasn’t changed that much. Since Stereoscopic 3D, there hasn’t been a huge revolution in the industry, which focused on achieving better quality and visual effects and not much more.
What can we expect in the future
There are certain things that suggest cinemas will change significantly in the upcoming years. Virtual Reality (VR) has been seen a couple of times at most of the major film festivals, which could suggest that the industry is clearly trying to go that way. There are, in fact, already some VR-only cinemas in the world, with the first one being open in Amsterdam since 2016. AR (augmented reality) has also been making progress and could be implemented in the movie industry, although it’s way too expensive to match today’s standards.
Recent years have also seen some advancements in 4D, which is no longer used as tourist attraction. Specially fitted cinemas with moving seats, scent dispersal units, lightning flashes, wind etc. make you feel like you are a part of the plot. Upgrading every cinema to 4D will be, however, very expensive and might take years before it happens.
There’s one more major prediction for the future – glasses-free 3D movies. It doesn’t require too many changes, it’s not costly and it can be a common feature really soon. All it needs is a parallax barrier, which is a filter that sits over the screen and splits the images just like the glasses do.