This week saw the launch of the UK’s first multi-projection, 270 degree cinema screen by the UK’s largest cinema chain, Cineworld.
Situated in Greenwich’s 02 Arena, ScreenX is an immersive cinema experience which provides a 270-degree viewing experience in a single auditorium. The concept of the technology takes what is shown within the frame of a traditional forward-facing screen and then expanding beyond it, displaying film scenes onto the side walls.
The seamless blending of multiple images onto side walls, (the side walls are covered in a special fabric) is what is really special about the Screen X software. There has also been a focus on audio in this technical setup with speakers being strategically placed throughout the auditorium to optimise the sound.
Byung-Hwan Choi, CEO of one of ScreenX’s developers, CJ 4DPLEX, said: “ScreenX mimics how the human eye interprets a visual by appealing to both our front and peripheral vision. It honours our commitment to break cinematic boundaries and create amazing cinema experiences.”
The technology has been existence since 2015 with a number of Hollywood blockbusters having been screened in this format since first being launched in South Korea. Black Panther, Ant Man and the Wasp and King Arthur being just two big studio films that were shot in a specific way to be delivered in this format. Future films including “The Meg” and “The Nun” have been planned specifically for Screen X format release.
The ScreenX cinema in Greenwich is just the first UK cinema to enjoy this new technology; Cineworld Speke and Cineworld Leeds White Rose audiences will also benefit from ScreenX capabilities by the end of September 2018. Cineworld also plans to extend this technology rollout to 100 other cinemas across the UK plus theatres in the U.S.
However, just like all new cinematic technology – the downsides for Screen X are the increased ticket prices, too few cinema locations and a very small pool of films in which to enjoy on the 270 degrees screen.
Maybe it’s worth just sticking with IMAX for a fully immersive cinematic experience until Screen X has bedded in and got a wider range of films to choose from for your next visit.