With no end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, and movie theaters around the country still closed, people are wondering: How can theaters survive if this pandemic continues for a number of years? Is there a way to make theaters safer, so they could possibly reopen even with the pandemic continuing to threaten customers?

One possible way — or at least one creative boondoggle — is being attempted in France. As spotted on Twitter, the new Oma Cinema under construction in Paris promises “a new era of movie theater.” It was designed before the pandemic, but is now seen as a possible way to bring proper social distancing guidelines to theaters, where customers are crammed together in rooms with no windows. The seats are attached in small pods on the wall, rather than in rows along the floor.

You can watch their trailer for the unique theater design (by architect Pierre Chican) here:

I will leave it to epidemiologists to tell me whether this design really would make a difference in terms of the risk of contracting the coronavirus. All I know is this: This thing looks exactly like the Galactic Senate featured in the Star Wars prequels.

Look, right now any movie theater that can be proven safe during the coronavirus sounds like a good movie theater, no matter what it looks like. But a movie theater where you can watch Tron: Legacy while Yoda and Palpatine throw giant seating pods at each other? That sounds like a much more exciting upcharge than 4DX.

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