Last month, Cinemark West Plano opened an extension called The Void, a virtual reality experience designed to supplement some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. The Void is the first and only of its kind in Texas, with other locations in New York City, Anaheim, Glendale, Orlando, and other major cities.
Cinemark’s Senior Vice President James Meredith believes that the addition of The Void will bring in crowds from all over Texas, and serve as a tourist hotspot for visitors.
“What we’re finding is that people who live in Houston and Austin and within a 20 to 50-mile radius who are coming to the area for whatever reason are able to come in and enjoy The Void,” Meredith says. “We are always trying to do everything in our power to enhance the overall entertainment experience in our theaters and The Void is the perfect extension of that.”
One of the first hyper-reality experiences that The Void is offering is “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” where participants can role play and place themselves inside the Star Wars franchise’s universe.
“You have the ability to transport yourself into another galaxy,” Meredith says. “You become a stormtrooper and embark on a special mission in order to solve a problem. In the future, we’re going to bring in some experiences based on different movies, like Nicodemus, Wreck it Ralph, and other upcoming titles.”
Meredith also mentions that Marvel will be teaming up with The Void to create a hyper-reality experience for release next year, however, the details regarding what this experience will entail are top secret.
While some may argue that Netflix, Moviepass, and other subscription services are killing the film industry, Meredith believes that the movie-going experience is better than ever.
“Business has been very good,” Meredith says, “I think the main reason that the industry is doing well is because Cinemark is constantly offering new products, new technologies, and new amenities to enhance the experience.”
Among the new amenities is Cinemark Reserve, an in-house restaurant and bar.
“We’ve got enhanced food and beverage options like craft beers, wines, and cocktails,” Meredith says. “People can enjoy a drink before the show, or while they’re watching the show.”
Apart from The Void and Cinemark Reserve, Cinemark West Plano also has Luxury Lounge seating in each theater, in which the viewer can lean the seat back or forward to their content. Guests of Cinemark can also come in to watch previously recorded concerts and plays, or play e-sports, all while enjoying the experience in 11.1 layers of surround sound.
“What we’re trying to create here is an experience with many different options,” Meredith says. “For example, maybe you’ll come in and have dinner at Cinemark Reserve, and then you enjoy a hyper-reality experience. Then the next time you come in, you enjoy a big blockbuster. Then the time after that, you’ll come and enjoy a concert or a play.”
No matter your interests, Cinemark truly offers something for everybody.
“We’ve created an entertainment destination that has a lot of different options,” Meredith says. “People who come here can always find something new or different during the week or on the weekend.”
The Void at Cinemark
3800 Dallas Pkwy
Plano, TX 75093