Social VR app Bigscreen is teaming up with Paramount Pictures to debut a new virtual cinema inside of Bigscreen. The cinema will operate much like a real movie theater, offering timed screenings of Top Gun (1986) in 3D, free for a limited time. Screenings start today, December 29th and go until December 31st. Players can join friends to watch together.

Update (12/19/17): Bigscreen has just published showtimes for ‘Top Gun’ in 3D. Check out the full schedule at the bottom of this article.

Bigscreen is a social VR app which lets users connect with friends in a virtual environment where everyone can use and share what’s on their own computer screen. One popular activity is to share videos and movies. The app had already introduced a movie theater environment, but now they’re kicking things up several notches with a new offering which will see official, timed movie showings.

Paramount Pictures is the first to team up with Bigscreen to bring content to the new cinema. Starting on December 29th at 6PM ET, the Bigscreen cinema will show free, timed screenings of Top Gun in 3D to Bigscreen users, supporting “a few dozen” users per theater, with the rest of the seats filled out by NPCs to give a sense of a packed house. The screenings are only available for US users and require Windows 10 (though Bigscreen in general is of course international and supports Windows 7, 8, and 10.

“Bigscreen’s virtual reality platform offers a new way for fans to experience films in their homes,” said Bob Buchi, President Worldwide Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures. “We’re excited to be a part of this experiment using cutting-edge technology to give fans a new entertainment option.”

Image courtesy Bigscreen

Bigscreen CEO Darshan Shankar says the team has anticipated the potential for trolling during showings, and so Bigscreen’s cinema screenings will include both a ‘Whisper Mode’, which means users outside of a very small radius won’t be able to hear each other, and what he called the ‘Troll Cage’, which makes players disappear if they try to walk too far from their seat.

'Bigscreen's' New "Big Rooms" Support up to 12 Users, Update Overhauls Performance

Shankar also says that the company is building a content lineup to support the new cinema, and aims to offer fresh screenings each week in 2018, during which the company may experiment with monetization models for the official cinema content.

Showtimes (US only)

Starting December 29th at 6:00 PM ET (your local time here), showings will continue until December 31st at 2:00 AM ET.

To enter a screening, all you need to do is look at the top of a cinema entrance and an 8-second timer will count down before teleporting you and your friends automatically into the cinema. Check out Bigscreen’s official post here for more info.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • bschuler

    I love this SOOOO (continue 0’s for several pages) much! While I would love a better resolution.. watching a 3D movie in Big Screen is awesome. I plan to not only watch this movie.. but support it when they start releasing paid movies too. Hopefully they offer a yearly pass option or something too.

    • Jeff Axline

      This does seem like a very nice step for VR. I was pleasantly surprised at how much the resolution bump on Windows VR headsets helped videos compared to my VIve. It’s not fantastic or anything but it’s gone form “why am I even doing this” to “hey this isn’t bad!”. I have an Odyssey and it’s great for stuff like this. Gaming not so much…

  • Tim Suetens

    “The screenings are only available for US users and require Windows 10 (though Bigscreen in general is of course international and supports Windows 7, 8, and 10.”

    Thanks for nothing, assholes.

    • Konchu

      Gotta love international distribution BS hopefully this can be worked out eventually.

      • Tim Suetens

        True, but I’m a dinosaur gamer still clinging to Windows 7. My downgrade to Windows 10 is scheduled for 2020.

        • care package

          Not sure what people have against 10 or what’s so much better about 7.

          • Tim Suetens

            I have a rather long backlog of older games, some dating back to the Windows XP era, and I’m scared of compatibility issues should I upgrade to Windows 10. By 2020, my backlog should be gone, and I can safely upgrade – as I’ll mainly be playing newer games by then.

          • J.C.

            I haven’t run into a single issue with compatibility in Win10 that wasn’t there from before (we’re talking Directx-3 games). At least your reason for not upgrading is less ridiculous than most. How many system lockups or BSODs do you get in Win7? Mine would flip out at least once a month or so. I’ve never, ever seen Win10 crash and burn.

          • Tim Suetens

            Never had a BSOD on this particular PC. And I never shut down my computer (well, maybe twice a year or so).

          • care package

            That sounded weird. Gonna hang on to 7 for old games, and you’ve got 2 years worth of them you’d rather play than current ones now? lol.

          • Tim Suetens

            How does my preference for older games affect or concern you, exactly?

          • care package

            How does my opinion of your devotion to older games affect or concern you exactly?

          • Tim Suetens

            Obvious troll is obvious. Blocked.

          • care package

            Wow. Way to throw a fit. You need to learn what an internet troll is. Here’s a hint. It’s not someone who pisses you off.

          • Martin Petersson

            You could try Virtualbox but most or all your software probably still works.

          • Tim Suetens

            Yeah, I tried that, but it was very slow and didn’t feel very feasible to play games in it. As you said, I don’t really need it. Windows 7 can still run all of my games.

    • Hivemind9000

      Yeah it’s a shitty dick move from corporate numb-nuts with their heads stuck in the past.

      I just use a VPN to get around this sort of idiocy (Nord VPN).

  • Richard Williams

    When am I going to be able to watch my 3D blu rays in VR? It seems like a natural fit for a face-mounted device that’s got stereoscopic display, and well.. they’ve kinda begun to stop selling 3D TVs now.

    • crim3

      So sad. After all this time and still no 3d blu ray player available for VR. I don’t know, maybe it isn’t worth it because of the lack of resolution of current headsets. I no longer have my 3D projector readily avaiablable to use it like before, but when I get over the laziness and set it all up the cinema experience blows current VR out of the water. Anyway, it would be so convinient to just put on the VR headset and launch a 3D blu ray.


        They actually have 3D Blu Ray support on PSVR, so I figure someone will do it for PC at some point.


      They actually have 3D Blu Ray support on PSVR, so I figure someone will do it for PC eventually.

    • johngrimoldy

      If you get a Blu Ray player for your PC you can rip your vids to SBS files. ‘May be easier to just download the torrents. (You can feel less guilty considering you already own copies of the movies).

  • Edward Morgan

    You know what would make this really amazing? If they disabled whisper mode for certain parts and got the entire audience singing Danger Zone along with the movie.

    • Jeremy Swanson

      Can you imagine a screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show with a few hundred people, no whisper mode?

      • Edward Morgan

        Yes, unfortunately.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Pretty sure there’ll be a need for a new file format like subtitles, except one that dictates the reaction of the VR cinema audience, like laughs, screams, oohs, claps etc…that’d be amazing.

      Meanwhile I wish multi-users (which they falsely call “social”) screening both in local and internet worked better.

  • Ragbone

    Sounded amazing until it mentioned Windows 10. VR is slowly forcing me to upgrade to this :( I hate every windows since XP.

    Very nice idea though, just need to trick the PC into thinking it’s in the US.

    • RockstarRepublic

      Windows 10 is great! Hated 8 but they got it right this time around. Just make sure to use ultimate windows tweaker to shut off some of the annoying stuff.

      • Ragbone

        Thanks, I’ll give it a try.

      • J.C.

        Just don’t turn off Telemetry. A lot of these tweaking programs have a way to turn it off, and then forums are packed with people saying “why doesn’t my Win10-requiring game work right?” (Specifically Forza Horizon 3).

        • RockstarRepublic

          Its fine to turn it off, one niche racing game (assuming what you say is accurate) won’t have much long term impact. The Telemetry can be enabled again via the same tweaking application if its needed, which its not 99.9% of the time.

  • Dylan

    THIS IS AWESOME. VR allows for 3d cinema and audio AND the vr experience of seeing a movie with friends, and the exclusive nature of VR to prevent things like screen recording in a useful and meaningful way means that it’s (somewhat) safer to use for copyright holders. I like this idea a lot.

  • Adrian Meredith

    I’m more interested in them supporting desktop windows like oculus dash including having more screens than real ones and the superior clarity. Other than that i much prefer bigscreen to dash right now

  • I think this is not a good 3D movie, I think it is an automatic conversion (bad), good conversions are made by hand frame by frame. There are hundreds of converted movies better than this

    • johngrimoldy

      Would much rather see Planet Earth 2 in 3D than Top Gun.

      • After seen Top Gun in 3D blu-ray I’m totally disagree with my own coment. It is a wonderful 3D conversion. Totally recommended

  • me

    Region locked to the US? I am in Canada and can’t view without a VPN up?

  • Tim Suetens

    Used to be we had VR Cinema for the Rift DK1. It was free and it worked. Now they locked us out of that one, and charge a premium to watch only a select few movies. Everything for that sweet, sweet cash, I guess. Corporate fuckers. Throttling technological advancement for profit.

  • HomeAudio

    US only :(
    Very bad!!!

  • Skippy76

    Why would people want to even watch this? Watching movies in VR sucks.
    Specially when you own a 92″ screen and 3d HD projector.
    Why do they call it a social app when you cant even be social while watching a movie?

    • care package

      I would agree but only because the resolution isn’t up to par. Watching movies on a reality image is still better. Only reason I would disagree is because ‘watching movies sucks’. Movies are getting to be total shit anyway.

  • Henree

    not available in your region.

  • MadMax1998

    Movies in Bigscreen have horrible judder because there is no proper framerate conversion applied to them (from 24 FPS to 90 Hz) and Bigscreen itself doesn’t run at 90 Hz either (the desktop runs at 60 Hz and Bigscreen inserts doubled frames to hit 90). The cinematic experience is great but the software is not there yet.