Space. The Final Frontier. That famous catch phrase from Star Trek could equally apply to the Barco Escape theater experience. The Barco Escape’s design delivers maximum viewing space for moviegoers. Instead of just one central screen, the Barco Escape features three screens for an amazing panoramic view.
I had the chance to watch Star Trek: Beyond in the Barco Escape format at Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue. I’ll avoid any spoilers, but the 270-degree view of the Enterprise traveling through a nebula storm was breathtaking. Three screens provided a sense of scale that I’ve never experienced before while watching an epic Sci-Fi adventure.
There are currently only 30 Barco Escape theaters in the world, and the only one in the Northwest is at Lincoln Square.
The whole goal of the Barco Escape theater is to provide the audience with a unique cinematic experience that doesn’t rely on 3D or gimmicks, said Barco Escape CEO Todd Hoddick. He explained that despite all the advancements in filmmaking, the movie theater hasn’t changed that much in 100 years. Barco is setting out to transform it.
“We want to give studios and directors a larger canvass and new paintbrushes with which to tell their stories,” Hoddick said.
The Barco Escape team works with filmmakers to help them make the best use of three screens. Star Trek director Justin Lin adapted about many of the film’s action sequences for panoramic view. Scenes featuring dialogue between characters are kept to just the central screen.
However, the upcoming survival thriller 6 Below will be one of the first movies to be shot entirely for the three screen format. The movie is based on the true story of Olympic hockey player Eric LeMarque who had to survive in the Sierra Nevada after getting lost in a snowstorm. The film’s director, Scott Waugh, told Hoddick that he wanted audiences to feel what it’s like to be trapped in the mountains.
“It’s about creating experiences you can’t get anywhere else,” Hoddick said. “We want to create something so compelling that people will put down the remote or the iPad and come have a communal experience.”
If you were interested in seeing a film in the Barco Escape format, it’s well worth it. The most expensive tickets are $14.75 for general admission at peak evening times. Seniors, kids and matinee shows are even less. My main recommendation is to get there early, get a seat in the center seat and be dazzled.