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Skydome Theater

September 13th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
Imagine an open, dome-shaped theater the size of a football stadium, where instead of looking towards screen on the far wall, everyone looked to the sky.  It would be like stargazing, except as the movie is about to start, the stars fade away and another world fills the sky for as far as the eye can see.  People would be lying on their backs instead of sitting hunched forward on their seats.  It'd almost feel like being in a rocket about to take off vertically.  Perhaps there would be chairs that rotate backwards to a lift-off position and actually elevate slightly off the ground as the movie begins.

This is something that's been churning in the back of my mind for a while.  From a design standpoint, the theater would obviously be limited in capacity and can only show one movie at a time for the all the space allotted, but I think the experience would be phenomenal, especially for very visual, cinematic films.  Capacity is also used in a very technical way, as the theater would actually be able to hold way more people than usual since literally every square-foot of the space can be a viewing area just by looking up at the sky.  There would be no bad seats since everyone is equally far from the absurdly large screen (similar to everyone on the ground having the same image of an airplane in the air or mountain in the distance).  It is the opposite of a traditional theater, where the front half the seats are useless from being too close and low to the screen; here the middle seats are both the most abundant and best positioned.  The facilities, food, etc would probably be either at the edges or downstairs underground to keep the ground level as open and free of clutter as possible.  The way the screen would work is that the entire roof/ceiling of the dome is a glass that can change from transparent (for stargazing before the movie starts) to opaque to be projected on.  Depending on the technology, it might not even be necessary to make the glass opaque, which would be even more amazing for bystanders outside who would then see a giant glass dome lighting up from within.  There would have to be many projectors at the circumference working in sync around the audience lying directly beneath the screen, and a lot of speakers throughout the theater to give it the proper 3D depth.  Other possibilities to explore may be the layering of additional glass to give the screen a sense of depth, perhaps a different flavor of 3D film without the glasses.  Having that many projectors lined 360 degrees would probably allow the capability to do light/laser shows rivaling virtual or augmented reality but without the clunky glasses or headsets.  The Skydome Theater would be something people would fly from around the world to experience, as there'd likely only be one built - in other words, it'd be an experience that exists nowhere else on Earth.

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  1. ARQUE said,
    Sep-15-2015, 01:56pm

    Once we have more refined technology, digital spaces will replace certain physical spaces. That transition will be exciting to watch for and will take big leaps between now and then like the Skydome theater to built the culture around virtual spaces to sustain them reliable when the technology exists for it.

  2. pftq said,
    Sep-16-2015, 09:44pm

    I'd hope not.  Would like to see us live less in our heads and spend more effort making reality an interesting place to be.

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