Tickets on Sale for Sphere, World’s Most Expensive IMAX Theater

Tickets are now on sale for the first “Sphere Experience,” a new movie called “Postcard from Earth” at the $2.2 billion Sphere at Venetian, a cutting-edge venue expected to open in spring 2023.

Immediately after which we expect it to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but we’ve decided to try and not be a buzzkill in this particular story, probably.

Tickets for “Postcard from Earth” start at $54, but can be as much as $236 if you include Ticketmaster fees. For a movie. That’s not even a real movie. It’s more like a 60-minute BBC nature documentary. We are not making this up.

Yep, that’s the parking lot.

In our sincere effort to not be a wet blanket, we will share some information from the official news release from Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., owners of the Sphere.

The announcement proclaims, “Sphere Experiences, which will be the result of collaborations between Sphere Studios—Sphere’s in-house creative and production studio—and acclaimed storytellers and creatives, are original immersive productions designed exclusively for Sphere. As the first Sphere Experience, ‘Postcard from Earth’ will utilize the full breadth of Sphere’s technological capabilities to create a multi-sensory storytelling journey, providing audiences with a first-of-its-kind shared experience at an unparalleled scale. Each Sphere Experience will be approximately 60 minutes in length, and productions are slated to run multiple times per day, year-round.”

So, yep, that’s the business model for the Sphere. With some live performances included, like U2.

U2 will perform “U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere,” to help launch the new venue. U2 is being paid $10 million for a dozen shows, plus 90 percent of the box office.

The U2 shows will be what’s commonly known as a “loss leader.”

The schedule for “Postcard from Earth” shows the movie (sorry, experience) will play 3-4 times a day.

Sphere has a seating capacity of 17,500.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Sphere is also called MSG Sphere or Sphere at Venetian or MSG Sphere at Venetian, despite the fact it’s not at the Venetian. We trust Sphere is looking for a naming rights partner, but there have been no takers to-date, nor have any other advertising partners been announced.

The Sphere has high hopes when it comes to advertising. A recent job posting for an Exosphere Product Director says this unfortunate person will be expected to “generate far beyond $100 million of revenue per year” for advertising on the exterior of the Sphere.

As the kids say, the Sphere done lost its damn mind.

In other news we definitely don’t mean to be a buzzkill, there have been rumblings Venetian and Palazzo will start charging for parking soon. This rumor is very much Sphere-related.

All the naysaying aside, at least for the next couple of paragraphs, Sphere will be a technological marvel.

The announcement says, “Sphere’s 22nd century technologies include an LED display inside the main venue bowl that wraps up, over, and around the audience, creating a fully-immersive visual environment. At 16K x 16K, it is the highest resolution LED screen on earth, and guests will feel like they have traveled to new worlds without ever leaving their seats.”

We’re seeing a need for air sickness bags, but that’s probably just us.

The hype continues with this description of the sound system: “Through Sphere Immersive Sound, the world’s most advanced concert audio system, Sphere will deliver crystal-clear audio to every guest, no matter the size or type of event. This system will utilize a variety of technologies, including beamforming, which enables audio to be directed to specific locations at a volume that remains consistent—from point of origin to destination. This system allows multiple forms of content to be delivered simultaneously—meaning two people sitting in different seat sections could hear completely different things, such as different languages or instruments—expanding the possibilities for truly customized listening experiences. Sphere’s audio system will also allow sound designers to create a virtual point of origin, and place it in a precise spatial location—meaning audio can be directed to the listener so that it sounds close, even though the source is far away—imagine a character ‘whispering’ directly in your ear.”

This is very exciting, and definitely does not beg the question, “Why would you want people in different seats to hear different things?”

The Sphere isn’t about questions! It’s about having the world’s most advanced everything with zero regard for how in the hell a $2.2 billion venue begins to recoup its investment by showing $50 movies. (An MSG rep insists the investment is only $2.175 billion. That changes everything!)

We are really not very good at not being a buzzkill.

No, we did not Photoshop the creepy baby on there.

Oh, and we almost forgot the “4D” part.

“Sphere will also feature multi-sensory 4D technologies that enhance the storytelling experience and make audiences feel like they are truly somewhere else,” the release says. “This includes 10,000 immersive seats with an infrasound haptic system that will use deep vibrations so guests can ‘feel’ the experience—such as the rumble of thunder or a roaring motorcycle. Sphere will also utilize environmental effects to rouse the senses—this includes changing temperatures, the feeling of a cool breeze, or familiar scents—and help audiences conjure the feeling of ‘being there.'”

Phew. That makes it sound like the Sphere isn’t trying to fill all 17,500 seats, just 10,000, which is much more realistic.

Anyway, Las Vegas was built on big swings, including the occasional miss. It remains to be seen if the Sphere can hit a home run. Without sports, mind you.

We would love to see the Sphere defy the odds to become a huge success. They’re hiring 3,000 people at the moment, and jobs are good.

A new walkway has been built connecting Venetian and the Sphere. It looks a half-mile long, so we expect Ticketmaster will tack on a “Cardiovascular Fitness Fee” at some point.

Here’s more about “Postcard from Earth” at the official Sphere Web site. The first available show is Oct. 6, 2023. Our sources say Sphere may not make that date, but we’re optimistic.

We’re also optimistic people will stop describing the Sphere as “like a Sun on Earth.” This is why they invented black-out curtains, people.

We can’t wait to see “Postcard from Earth” at Sphere, including the whispers in our ears and deep vibrations to rouse our senses and form our beam, if you get our drift.