The present disclosure is directed to an entrance to a theater of the type normally used to show motion pictures. The motion picture theater entrance has distinctive outer walls separating a vestibule from a lobby. The vestibule has a curved image projection wall located inside said vestibule and is connected to a viewing area by a curved walkway. The entrance also may include border lighting along the upper and or lower edges of its walls.
- 1-24. -24. (canceled)
- 25. A theater configuration, comprising:
a lobby; a seating area; an entrance to the seating area; a vestibule extending between the lobby and the entrance, the vestibule having a curved image projection wall and a floor; and the floor of the vestibule comprising a curved pathway that connects the lobby to the entrance, the curved pathway being defined by the image projection wall.
- View Dependent Claims (26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
This application is a continuation of prior pending U.S. application Ser. No. 15/374,576, filed Dec. 9, 2016, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 14/556,178, filed Nov. 30, 2014, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,551,161, issued Jan. 24, 2017, the entirety of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.
The present disclosure is generally directed to a theater entrance of the type that is typically used as the entrance to a motion picture theater.
Motion picture theaters have been in existence for over a century and are well known in the art. The design for these theaters has evolved over time, from single screen movie houses showing one film at a time to very large multiplexes having dozens of individual theaters running different films simultaneously. But despite offering such a wide variety of entertainment options, audience attendance at movie theaters has declined.
New developments in digital technology have made home entertainment systems more advanced and accessible and so consumers have a wide variety of options such as DVD rentals, video streaming, etc. Although visiting a motion picture theater was once the only way one could see a film, now nearly every film is available instantaneously via video streaming or downloading from the comfort of one'"'"'s couch at home. Those who continue to frequent motion picture theaters now do so as much for the whole theater-going experience as to watch the films themselves.
Multiplex owners have observed this trend and motion picture theaters are now being designed with this experience in mind. Special theater designs combine visual, audio, and other sensory features so that the audience is fully immersed. The audience does not merely watch a film; the audience experiences it.
Multiplexes usually include a variety of theater types so that audience members may select which type of experience they prefer. Basic 35 mm films may be suitable for some patrons while others prefer to have the option of seeing their films shown in a higher quality format (e.g. 70 mm film, digital projection, 4K Digital projection, and other developing formats) and in a theater fitted with premium features such as stadium seating, digital sound, or customized theater geometry. However, installing these premium features into a theater comes at a higher price than a basic, staggered row 35 mm projection theater and, therefore, the resulting cost is passed down to the audience members each time they purchase a ticket to one of these high quality performances.
However, the standard layout of most multiplexes and theaters does not allow for any differentiation between basic 35 mm theaters and theaters providing a higher quality, immersive experience. Frequently, the first indication that one theater is different from another occurs only after the audience enters the viewing area and the on-screen advertisements begin. Therefore, audience members may not be getting the whole experience that they desire to justify the higher ticket prices.
Thus, a need exists for a theater entrance designed in a distinctive manner so that the audience is able to distinguish a premium theater from a standard multiplex theater. The theater entrance may possess a variety of distinctive features that indicate to the audience that a different experience lies beyond the entryway from the lobby. It is important that the theater entrance have a distinct, dramatic appearance so that audience members'"'"' attention is drawn to the entryway. By creating a new, innovative theater entrance, an audience member'"'"'s experience and journey begins right when he or she first approaches the theater entrance, whether it be a stand-alone movie house, or within a multiplex.
The present disclosure relates to a motion picture theater having an entrance that includes an entryway between a lobby and a vestibule. The entryway is flanked by a flat outer wall. A convex image projection wall is in the vestibule that is visible from the lobby, and a curved walkway is located between the vestibule and a viewing area that is further inside the theater. The present disclosure also relates to a theater entrance that may include distinctive border lighting around the edges of the walls of the vestibule, the flat outer wall, as well as the image projection wall.
In the accompanying drawings that form a part of the specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith, illustrate by way of example and not limitation, with like reference numerals referring to like elements, wherein:
The theater 10 has an entryway 16, centrally located in this example, where audience members may enter and exit the theater. The entryway 16 is oriented so that the audience members walk from a lobby 18 and pass through the entryway 16 on their way to the viewing area 14. The opening of entryway 16 is defined by outer walls 20A/20B.
Inside entryway 16 is a vestibule 24 where the audience members can gather or pass through on their way to the viewing area 14. The vestibule 24 has inner walls 22A/22B, which may be curved.
On one side of vestibule 24 is an image projection wall 26 positioned opposite entryway 16, so that image projection wall 26 is visible within vestibule 24 as well as outside entryway 16 and in lobby 18. The image projection wall 26 may be convexly curved similarly to the shape of vestibule 24 so that it remains visible from nearly every position within vestibule 24. Curved inner walls 22A/22B and curved image projection wall 26 create a curved pathway for vestibule 24.
After passing through the vestibule 24, audience members can walk along walkway 30 to the viewing area 14. Walkway 30 may have one or more entrances or doorways 32A/32B located at opposing ends of vestibule 24 that serve to block the sounds originating in the lobby 18 and vestibule 24 from being heard within the viewing area 14.
As shown also in
The image projection wall 26 is directly opposite the entryway 16 as shown in
As noted above, border lighting 28 may be positioned at the top and the bottom of image projection wall 26 and also on inner wall 22, and may be placed only at the top or bottom of each wall or, alternatively, not included at all. A plurality of projectors 34 are shown positioned in a recess of ceiling 25 of vestibule 24. The projectors 34 are positioned so that the image projection wall 26 has a continuous image projected across the entire length and height of image projection wall 26. Alternatively, a plurality of different images may be projected along different sections of the image projection wall 26. The projectors 34 are positioned within a recess of ceiling 25 so that they are partially hidden within ceiling 25 of vestibule 24. Projectors 34 are angled such that audience members can approach the image projection wall 26 without blocking the projectors and disturbing or distorting the projected image on the wall. The technology for creating such an image(s) on image projection wall 26 is commercially available from various companies, such as Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. of Cypress, Calif. Alternatively, the images on projection wall 26 could be achieved via individual displays or display panels, wherein the panels would be curved to conform with the shape of the vestibule 24 and controlled and synchronized to show a large-sized, continuous image across the whole surface of image projection wall 26.
As may be appreciated from
Entryway 16′ is positioned between outer walls 20A′ and 20B′ adjacent the left edge 33′ of image projection wall 26′. In this design, border lighting 28′ is positioned at the top edge 29′ and bottom edge 31′ of image projection wall 26′, inner wall 22B′, and along the top and bottom edges of outer walls 20A′ and 20B′ (in a similar manner, border lighting 28 in
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for designing other products. Therefore, the claims are not to be limited to the specific examples depicted herein. For example, the features of one example disclosed above can be used with the features of another example. Thus, the details of these components as set forth in the above-described examples, should not limit the scope of the claims.
Further, the purpose of the Abstract is to enable the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the claims of the application nor is intended to be limiting on the claims in any way.