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IMAX has virtual reality fever

The big-screen theater giant opened its first VR hub this month in Los Angeles. People will pay $10 to strap on a VR headset inside one of 15 soundproof rooms to experience either VR video games or films for roughly seven minutes.

The VR arcade in Los Angeles is one of six VR hubs that IMAX (imax, +2.18%) will debut worldwide this year. For many people who have yet to fly spaceships in VR or stood next to their favorite actors in hit films, IMAX’s new arcades could be their first experience.

In this edited interview with Fortune, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond discusses why IMAX is pushing into virtual reality, what it hopes to learn from its new entertainment centers, and whether the emerging VR technology is ready for primetime.

Why are you building virtual reality centers?

Gelfond: Because of IMAX’s brand, we felt we were in a very good position to be a first mover in the VR entertainment space.

Many people have described VR to us and they’d say, “We’re the IMAX of VR,” meaning they’re providers of a high-end virtual reality immersive experience. We said, “Gee, why couldn’t IMAX be the IMAX of VR rather than someone else being the IMAX of VR?”

more : Fortune