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Panoramic screens coming to Cineplex theatres in Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto

The Cineplex Barco Escape auditoriums will have two additional side screens to create a panoramic viewing range for movie-goers. Supplied

In an attempt to lure in more customers, Canada’s largest movie chain is upping the film-going experience by introducing surround screens to go with the surround sound.

Cineplex is opening three Barco Escape auditoriums this summer. The theatres will have two additional side screens to create a panoramic viewing range for moviegoers.

The first three auditoriums to be upgraded will be at the Scotiabank Theatres in Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

The Cineplex Barco Escape auditoriums will have two additional side screens to create a panoramic viewing range for movie-goers. Supplied

All three auditoriums are scheduled to open in time for the premiere of Star Trek Beyond on July 22. The movie will include more than 20 minutes of panoramic footage to expand the Star Trek universe across the three screens. Tickets for the movie go on sale Thursday.

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Barco Escape works with studios and filmmakers to create films with immersive viewing experiences. Movie director Scott Waugh recently announced he is directing the first feature shot entirely for Barco Escape. The film, titled 6 Below and starring Josh Hartnett, is expected to be released later this year.

Cineplex has introduced several new features in recent years to enhance their theatres, and is, in turn, charging customers more for the experience.

In April the movie company announced a new “4DX” immersive technology featuring specially-designed motion chairs and environmental effects like wind, mist, bubbles, snow and scent, working in synchronicity with the action on the big screen.

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Cineplex also has several adults-only VIP theatres with plush leather seats — some even recline — and offers pub-style food and alcoholic drinks with at-your-seat service.

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At the same time, the company has scaled back in some areas. Last fall it changed its Scene loyalty program, raising the number of points customers need for free premium movie tickets.

The old program let viewers redeem 1,000 Scene points for any movie at a Cineplex theatre. Now, tickets for screenings in 3D or seats inside an UltraAVX or Imax theatre cost 1,500 points and movies in the adults-only VIP cinemas cost 2,000 points.

In 2015 Cineplex also shrank its soft-drink sizes, but kept the prices the same. Company spokesman Michael Langdon said the move came after Cineplex weighed the possibility of raising drink prices to accommodate the higher costs of running its business. Instead, the company decided to keep prices the same, but make the cups smaller.

READ MORE: Cineplex shrinks its soft drink sizes, prices to remain the same

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