CinemaCon: Startup ReelXperience Aims to Create Interactive Theaters

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Courtesy Everett Collection

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There's lots of talk at CinemaCon about how to draw patrons to theaters. Texas-headquartered startup ReelXperience Entertainment is at the confab to have discussions about its new cinema concept, a “theme park-like movie experience” that it aims to start rolling out in 2017. It's hoping to interest studios in partnering to offer content.

ReelXperience wants to build stand-alone complexes that would offer several options, including two interactive experiences that would start around $60 per ticket. The first is a sort of high-tech dinner theater, where patrons would dine in a room with a 360-degree screen providing movie-themed environment while actors would interact with them, in character. The second experience would involve viewing a movie, then stepping onto a set that would extend the experience. Founder Chris Ratner cited as an example that one would view Close Encounters of the Third Kind and then step into the spaceship.

The company also wants to offer small theaters at the complexes, where audiences could view a new or classic movie. It's also looking to create a model where it could host viewings of live events, such as sports.

Current plans are to launch in the U.S., opening in cities such as Dallas and Las Vegas, and later expanding to international destinations.