Film Review: Showroom Cinema to Launch National Virtual Reality Partnership

Have you ever dreamed of being somewhere else or even being somebody else? Virtual Reality (VR) technology allows users to put on a headset and be anywhere, from outer space to under the ocean.
VR sessionVR session
VR session

Thanks to an exciting new partnership, soon you will be able to try it for yourself at your local independent cinema.

As part of an innovative new scheme, Showroom Cinema is excited to immerse audiences in cinematic storytelling using VR headsets and experiences. In partnership with StoryFutures, Showroom Cinema will become one of five venues across the UK taking part in the pilot scheme ‘StoryFutures Xperience’. These experiences will showcase the potential of VR in leading across the UK from Summer 2023.

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Using just a headset and two hand-held controllers, there will be an initial selection of over 20 engaging VR experiences on offer as part of the catalogue. The StoryFutures experiences cover diverse themes including music, sport and climate change and range from beautifully animated 360-degree films to fully interactive immersive experiences.

As the plans shape up for the VR experiences on offer this year, audiences in Sheffield can look forward to being able to virtually become Muhammad Ali as he prepares for the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. Not only can you see the sights of the locker room before the fight, but you can also even sting like a bee and throw some of your own punches as Ali too.

If you prefer something more thrilling to get your heart rate up, Showroom Cinema will be partnering with horror film festival Celluloid Screams in October and the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival in March 2024 to offer some virtual scares and adrenaline-fuelled extreme sports experiences.

If that sounds too much, many of the experiences will be family friendly, educational and informative and offer perspectives on important themes including the environment, mental health, and also offer new ways to appreciate the arts.

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Through an upcoming programme of VR focussed events, Showroom Cinema hopes to increase accessibility and engagement with this exciting technology and artform in the local area and allow audiences to expand their experience of cinema from traditional big screen experiences.

The cinema team are training to become VR experts and guide users through into virtual worlds. The technology will be available to the public to try from September, so keep an eye on the Showroom Cinema website for information on how you can take part in the near future.