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Five Apple Vision Pro Cinema Environments that we'd like to see

Why watch a movie when you can see your home when you don't have to?

Apple will do what it will do, but there are some Cinema Environments that we'd like to see that would make our experience with the Apple Vision Pro more fun and fit the theme of the device. Here are AppleInsider's choices.

Yes, we know that visionOS is new. It's so new that it still feels like a beta.

There are exactly two specific Cinema Environments to watch movies in Apple's movie player beyond the generic environments. And that's if you count the Mt. hood one which isn't exactly a theater. Mt. Hood at night can be used to view movies over the lake on a simulated 150 foot wide screen — assuming you're in the environment before you start the movie.

Only two Cinema Environments is a shame. This is a golden opportunity for expansion of what is now the main reason to wear the device — media viewing.

Sure, the Imax app has one, and the Disney+ app has a few, but these aren't universal, nor do they expand outside the apps in question.

When I asked about this in our Slack, I was given so many options by the staff. As Managing Editor, I executed fiat and picked my favorites. They'll probably be mad about it, but it's good to be the king.

On with the show!

Steve Jobs Theater

The most obvious one is Apple's own property — the Steve Jobs Theater. It is the model of a modern theater with high-tech and classic theater-craft rolled into one building.

Yes, this is inside Keynote already, but it's not the same. It's great that you can practice presentations in it while wearing Apple Vision Pro, but we want more.

Steve Jobs Theater - debut event
Steve Jobs Theater - debut event

Steve Jobs Theater opened in 2017, shortly after the rest of Apple Park was completed.

The first event that it hosted was the debut of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The company has used it for nearly all of its release events since then.

This would be fun as a full Environment too, or perhaps an interactive experience, as the entire building is an engineering marvel.

The bridge of the Enterprise

The Roddenberry Archive has some pretty nice imagery now from assorted Star Trek bridges for Apple Vision Pro or your browser, but it isn't enough. We want a Cinema Environment.

The concept is simple. There's a viewscreen on every single bridge, right there, front and center. The user's position is equally obvious — the Captain's chair. Pick your favorite Captain, there's at least one for every generation.

Captain Pike's bridge from Star Trek: The Original Series - image credit Roddenberry Archive
Captain Pike's bridge from Star Trek: The Original Series - image credit Roddenberry Archive

So much would have to line up for this to happen that we don't suspect it will ever (legally) arrive. There are unofficial 3D assets all over the internet, though, so it might be doable in an unofficial manner someday — unless Apple considers Environments the same way that they do Apple Watch faces.

We're not fussy. Any incarnation from Star Trek will be fine and some of those viewscreens are huge. The Space Shuttle Enterprise or the US Navy carrier bridge would work too.

The ping of sensors or the thrum of the engines are musts, though. Make them a toggle-switch, though, because it might be distracting in quiet moments if that particular brand of ASMR doesn't work for you.

Sydney Opera House

There is perhaps no theater still standing that is more distinguishable at a glance than the Sydney Opera House. Right on Sydney Harbor, Australia uses its architectural style in much of its tourism branding for the entire country.

Sydney Opera House concert hall
Sydney Opera House concert hall

The 2,679-seat concert hall is the largest venue in the structure. The Joan Sutherland Theatre is a good choice, and the proscenium in the Drama Theater would be fantastic too.

The Muppet theater

Like some Star Trek bridges, this one is an oldie but a goodie. And, it's well within Disney's ability to do, given that they have the theater in Hollywood Studios in Orlando. It was one of the last things that Jim Henson worked on personally, so it's about as official as it can be.

In fact, I immediately looked for this theater on Disney+ during my initial trials with the device. I was disappointed that it wasn't there.

Muppet Vision 3D experience at Hollywood Studios, Florida - Photo credit Disney
Muppet Vision 3D experience at Hollywood Studios, Florida - Photo credit Disney

It's a theater, admittedly, probably most familiar to Generation X at this point. It's silly and would be so much fun to watch movies in, even if no animations or ambient noises are associated with it.

Kermit and company aren't strictly required to make an appearance. Statler and Waldorf are, though.

New York's Metropolitan Opera House

What do you need to say to sell an environment that's hosted such varied performances as Prokofiev's War and Peace, several performances from Robin Williams, the 16-hour Der Ring des Nibelungen, and the MTV Video Music Awards?

The Met is a New York icon and has been for more than a half-century. It's a huge cultural touchstone, boasting some of the most advanced stage features in the world.

The Met audience seating, from the stage
The Met audience seating, from the stage

The gold and burgundy theater seats 3,794, with many standing locations. The acoustics are amazing, with a deep backstage complex. What's not to like?

Now it's your turn — what are your choices?

We don't normally call for user input because we know that you already have opinions. But this time, we are. What do you suggest for Cinema Environment expansions?

We'll feature some of the best suggestions in a future piece.