When I saw the thread, I wanted to post about Virtual Cinema in VR too. You beat me to it.At this moment the Oculus Quest has a resolution of 1440 × 1600 using two diamond Pentile OLED displays. Not even HD, and we don't know the active pixel count on the screen itself. Having said that, I specifically said we are in the early days. But the advantages are there. Not everyone can afford the space to have a projector at home, and certainly you get a better social experience than watching by yourself at home, sure, you can invite friends, but how often do you do that, and what about friends that live far away. Have you tried BigScreen? If you don't please do. Like I said, early days. In any case, the dichotomy of VR as a social platform is that it's better done privately.
Also, there's the debate on wether a 4K projected image is that much distinguishable from a 2K one, and let's not even start on HDR, not even a million dollar Dolby setup can compete with OLED when it comes to HDR most of the times. I work as a film colorist (or video since there is barely anything shot on film nowadays, and I also have a lot of experience making DCPs for theatrical exhibition) and I graded on many projectors, 2K and 4K. I can tell the difference sometimes between 2K and 4K, especially in trees or gravel, but is it a difference that correlates with price? No.
Also, the only way to enjoy 4K today is with 4K Blu-ray, and lots of colleagues complain that the color rendition of the 4K Blu-rays is different than the 2K Blu-ray on movies they graded, which for them the HD Blu-ray matches the creative intent better. Something about the encoding.
So what I'm saying is, don't get too hung up on pixel count when it comes to projection or VR.
Like you say, its early days. Some of the naysayers are judging it on the google carboard they tried. Some are judging it on theirs or their friends Rift CV1/Vive/Rift-S/Index. Most are not educated enough on how early in the game we still are and where and when this is all going to end up. Even my HP Reverb G1 is a large step up from my CV1 and Rift S and your Pentile Quest certainly with regard to apparent Virtual Screen resolution and Screendoor effect. Its RGB Stripe 2160x2160 per eye resolution while not delivering great blacks in dark scenes is delivering close to 1080p clarity to my eyes. It makes sense too given that the eye is more sensitive to vertical as opposed to horizontal res, that over half the vertical FOV is taken up by the virtual Screen and thus if the HMD's vertical res is 2160 pixels, that means about 1080 of them are 'drawing' the virtual Screen. I am no longer taken out of the experience by a lack of res or annoying SDE. Chromatic abberation, thick cable, bulky headset are my minor annoyances now. Cable and CA sorted in the Reverb G2 out later this year.
This isn't to say I expect many HT enthusiasts to rush out and buy a Reverb G2 either. The point is, that Virtual Cinema has already passed a threshold for some of us to be able to enjoy it and in about a decade it'll have passed a threshold that all of us will. We'll have HMD's the formfactor of those in Ready Player One, so light and wireless. They'll be using 4000-8000x4000-8000pixel per eye microleds through 180º FOV varifocal Waveguide lenses. Not only will they be capable of a 4K OLED (Clarity and Black levels) Virtual Screen the size of the largest iMAX in the world but they'll have custom HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) VR positional audio capable of completely convincing the brain that they are efefctively hearing a full Cinema array of Dolby ATMOS speakers. Better even. The only thing that would be missing is the bass kick. Start investing in Tactile Transducer manufacturers today!!
We're talking 4K OLED visuals combined with DOLBY ATMOS theater beating audio and getting to view the movie in your own personal largest iMAX in the world...and like you said doning it with friends and family spread across the country/world. The microled 80" TV's will remain for communal family viewing within the home (unless Augmented Reality glasses replace real with augmented virtual 80" TV's on the wall). The best most impressive Big Screen Movie Theater type experience will have moved from HT Projectors in the real world to Virtual iMAX's.....and you can theme them too! Anyone remember that amazing BatCave Home Theater in some billionaires house. Now we all get to watch the retro Dark KNight Trilogy in our own Virtual Version, with Tumbler Batmobile parked near the screen, Bat Suits in glass display cases on the side wall's, Virtual Bats flying around in the virtual Projector rays near the Bat Cave roof, all your friends and family around the country/world watching with you 'dressed' in their super hero virtual Avatars. Or how about Watching Star Wars in the Star Destroyer Hanger bay themed Virtual THeater etc etc.
I'll spend so much time in Virtual Cinema's......if I can tear myself away from Pay Per View Sporting or concert events in 6DOF Lightfield capture. ie. Instead of rights holders getting to sell a given court/ring/pitch/stage side seat to one celebrity or 1%'er for thousands of dollars, if they put a 360º Lightfield Video Camera rig in that seat, they can sell that seat virtually to tens of millions of people for $20. You will literally feel like you are sat courtside at the US Tennis Open Final for example. Tying that back to a point from earlier. The naysayers will bring up how terrible 3D 360º video capture looks now. Yeah, not the same thing guys, we are not talking about that, we are talking about Lightfield video capture and we are talking about 10 years from now when the resolution of both capture device and display are high enough and we have the Deep Learning Compression algortihms solving the bandwidth issue etc.
Being a naysayer for much of this tech doesn't make someone look clever, it simply shows that they don't know enough about the tech or where its going. They can say its not ready for prime-time now (which is fine because it isn't) but blanket statements saying VR/AR will always be niche or never replace X or Y just shows how little they know or how little imagination they have, it doesn't make them sound clever.
Mark my words ladies and gentlemen, in 10 years on these Home Cinema forums, we won't be arguing about which $5000-$20000 HT Projector and 126.96.36.199 audio system is best, we'll be arguing about which $500-$1000 VR/AR Goggles/Sunglasses are best.
Peronsonally I'm not a fan of the distraction of other VR users in Bigscreen and prefer to feel like Jeff Bezo's having bought out every seat in the largest iMAX in the world at Darling Harbour Sydney Australia so I can watch a movie in this screen in private. The feeling of watching a movie in a 500 seater Cinema on a 100ft(30m) wide screen makes up for the current gen VR downsides when it comes to blacks, res, SDE, FOV, formfactor, weight, cable etc. I am prepared to compromise on those things today but I understand why many/most don't. However in another 10 years, none of us will have to.