Virtualities, the company that runs virtual reality theaters and arcades, has been opening up locations in strip malls and retail space that are being abandoned due to the move toward online shopping.
According to a report in TechCrunch, Virtualities of Salt Lake City, Utah currently has two locations with one in the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City in an old Aeropostale store and another location in Layton, Utah. The Void, another VR entertainment company has a VR park in Lindon, Utah which combines a physical set with VR film experiences. Virtualities uses big open spaces for different VR experiences including gaming and a theater, noted the report. Both of the companies are among a handful of startups in the VR world taking advantage of real estate space in malls and strip malls.
TechCrunch noted that IMAX has also been mulling standalone VR locations and is testing with Samsung VR in LA. The company is also gearing up to install five VR movie theaters in the U.S., China and the U.K. over the course of the next few months, reported TechCrunch. IMAX, which has a market value of nearly $2.4 billion has the ability to make a bigger impact on the VR world than the two startups Virtualities and The Void. If IMAX’s tests prove to be successful it has said it will launch VR movie theater spaces in select multiplexes throughout the world, noted the report. At Virtualities monthly membership costs a $30 fee plus $58.50 for the first person and an extra $40 for up to four people that can be added to the group. Last year Samsung debuted a VR experience at select AT&T stores which included a virtual Carnival cruise for users outfitted with Samsung Gear VR by Oculus, which was linked to a sweepstakes for a real-world cruise.