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Experiencing 3-D without the glasses

November 4, 2011 | Hogan Keyser
November 4, 2011 via -- Satosphere provides 360-degree view of art projections and puts audiences into the action

The audience finds itself inside a giant uterus. Or it flies around cathedral ruins. Or it is transported to a dark, lonely forest.

Such are the experiences offered by Satosphere, a new cinema with a massive dome screen in Montreal designed by the Society for Arts and Technology to provide spectators with a 360-degree view of art projections.

Eight video projectors splash images over the entire surface of the steel-framed shell, which juts from the roof of the building, while 157 speakers emit sounds, creating the world's first wholly immersive cinema. So advanced is it that it allows for viewing art in three dimensions without 3-D glasses.
immersion_theater2.jpgA giant steel dome in central Montreal shelters the world's first 'immersion theater'. A 360-degree screen, eight projectors and 157 loudspeakers plunge the spectators completely inside a virtual reality created by modern digital filmmakers.

Satosphere's first show in October, Marie-Claude Paulin and Martin Kusch's Interior, tickled all the senses as guests also sampled fragrant tomatoes and Sichuan pepper drinks.

On screen, figures danced. Satosphere, a scion of the Circle-Vision theatre unveiled at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition's Bell Pavilion in Montreal, is "cinema for the 21st century," said its president Monique Savoie.

"In the beginning of cinema we hung a sheet in a room and arranged chairs in rows in front of it. And for 100 years that is how we have addressed the contents, like in a box.

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