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Introduction


    The theater is a constantly evolving luxury of society. For centuries, the movie theatre has been a place of creative expression, social enjoyment, and cultural fascination. The modern theatre serves as a gathering sanctuary for friends, family, and lovers of all ages. Since the invention of moving pictures in the 19th century, the cinema has visually transported people across the world into different time periods, cultures and places. Then with the addition of sound, movies got longer, and modern-day movie theaters adopted its current form. In 1905 movies cost only a nickel to watch a silent motion picture called Nickelodeons, then in 1950’s drive-ins were the next innovation in the motion picture experience. Although televisions became common in American households during this time, the popularity of the drive-in cinema during the same period suggests that individuals had come to value the public social setting of the cinema. While this form of social space cannot be duplicated in the home, technological developments since the 1950s, and especially in the past decade, offer advantages to home viewers that have eroded the social appeal of the cinema experience. However, in an era dominated by social division, the public sharing of experiences with strangers offers a form of communal experience that holds increasing value. In order to recapture the appeal of the social setting of the cinema, it must offer a form of experience that surpasses those available within the home. This thesis will therefore demonstrate a new typology of a cinema space that employs virtual reality and other technologies to create attractive forms of immersive experience, in order to re-establish the public’s desire for communal interaction.