ENTERTAINMENT: Special Theaters Show Stunning Panoramas

Article excerpt

Amid the rumble of countless pounding hooves, a vast herd of 1.3 million gnu surged past amazed visitors. The gnu were in Africa but the people were in Yokohama, watching on the panoramic screen of a newly opened theater.

Modern technology has enabled the projection of spectacular natural scenes onto enormous screens, some of which take up all the available wall space of huge, globe-shaped viewing halls.

Orbi Yokohama, an amusement facility in Yokohama that opened in 2013, offers panoramic screenings of documentary images of animals and wilderness scenes produced by the BBC.

One section of the facility shows a film illustrating the migration of gnu, a herbivorous animal native to Africa. Four large screens, the biggest measuring 2.2 meters tall and 8.4 meters wide, are installed to surround visitors. During the 10 minutes of its screening, spectators feel as if they were standing amid the dashing animals.

The facility attracted 100,000 people in the first month after its opening. Other sections at the facility screen images of polar regions and sea life.

"Visitors can enjoy seeing beautiful, thrilling images that are tremendously realistic," said an employee of Sega Corp. …