Attendance is sluggish at movies and museums, but people are flocking to “immersive” shows that let them walk around (virtually) in a Van Gogh painting, King Tut’s tomb or a surreal fantasy world.
Why it matters: People are yearning to ditch their sofas and phone screens for transcendent experiences that let them move around and mingle, untethered from a theater seat or virtual reality headset.
Driving the news: The surprise popularity of the half-a-dozen competing immersive Van Gogh exhibitions that hit the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic helped open the floodgates for similar shows, which make world-class art and artifacts more accessible and engaging.
- Advances in projection mapping enable producers to build dazzling spectacles.
- “You walk in and become transported to another world,” says Gilles Paquin, CEO of Paquin Entertainment Group, which is behind the “Beyond King Tut” show that just opened in several cities in the U.S. and Canada. “It puts you in a Zen place, a calming place.”