Published on August 2nd, 2012 | by John I.
4-D Movie experience: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!
In the beginnings of advanced movie viewing, 3-D was invented to create an experience that couldn’t be offered in a home theatre. Those rinky-dink paper glasses with one blue and one red lens have progressed into quality plastic glasses and a mind-blowing viewing experience with films made for 3-D, like “Avatar” and “The Avengers.”
However, with the invention of 3-D televisions and reusable at-home glasses, movie viewing has once again become a household activity and audiences are seeking something new at the cinema. The answer? 4-D.
4-D films aim to enhance all senses involved in movie viewing, not just the visual aspects. A 4-D movie adds touch, smell and more visuals to already 3-D and sound enhanced movies. This is done through a small box located in front of every chair that emits smells and liquid. Massagers are added to the seats that move and shake with the action in the film. In addition to those aspects, large lights that could replicate lightning and fog machines during a fire would be put into one of these specialty theaters.
A South Korean theater company called CJ Group, which operates the country’s largest theater chain, was the first to invent unique 4-D theaters, even though similar technology has been used at amusement parks like California Adventures or Universal Studios. These 4-D movies have become such a hit that they have expanded to Thailand, Mexico, Brazil and China, totaling 29 theaters, all showing success with general audiences.
South Korea released the recent alien movie “Prometheus” in their 4-D theaters, programming the theater to spray audience members with water when an alien’s guts splattered on screen. Seems gross, however, audiences have conceded to forking over an extra $8 on top of 3-D movie prices for a ticket.
The CJ Group believes American’s are willing afford the same price tag and has plans to build almost 200 of these specialty 4-D theaters in the United States over the next five years, beginning in major cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Joining the U.S. in developing 4-D theaters in the next few years are Russia, Poland, Britain and Israel.
The 4-D experience can take up to a month to create, timing explosions with seat vibrators and the smell of burning tires or using large fans and squirts of water to recreate the ocean spray seen on screen. Developers are careful to not commit sensory overload when adding effects to movies, but for the simple cinema-goer the additions may prove to be too much.
To keep theaters from once again losing their clientele to HBO and Netflix, 4-D seems like another fad to get people off of their couches and back into theaters. Every rom-com and drama might not be able to take advantage of 4-D effects, however, big action movies or sci-fi thrillers have the potential to create more than just a movie, but an event. The up-coming American trend of big-action superhero movies might be suited perfectly with the construction of 4-D theaters in the States.
4-D theaters are showing promise, especially with sold out show in Seoul and Mexico City. The goal isn’t to create amusement park rides, but enhance the movie experience.
Do you think American audiences will enjoy 4-D enough to pay for a ticket?
About the Author: Lisa is a big fan of the movies, and loves anything that can enhance that experience. When she isn’t catching the newest flick, she is a full time blogger for Satellitetv.com, home of the best Dish network packages.