Sunday, July 8, 2012

Will 4-D cinema from South Korea save American movie theaters?

This article in the Los Angeles Times is highlighting the "4-D moviegoing experience," which shakes, rattles, sways, and sprays moviegoers so as to add an extra sensory element or two — and perhaps a bit of motion sickness — to an evening at the cinema:
As the giant spaceship crashes into the mysterious planet, the seats inside the movie theater heave back and forth and rumble like an earthquake.

"Back ticklers" in the seats thump as an astronaut dodges fireballs and rolls on the ground. A strobe light flashes and huge fans expel gusts of air reeking of smoke and gunpowder.

"Back ticklers" in the seats thump as an astronaut dodges fireballs and rolls on the ground. A strobe light flashes and huge fans expel gusts of air reeking of smoke and gunpowder.

In the latest bid to attract moviegoers back to multiplexes, where 3-D -- featured in hits such as "The Avengers" and"Men in Black 3"-- is already the norm, technology and entertainment companies are pushing a new system known as 4-D.

At the leading edge of the technology is South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, which operates Asia's largest theater chain and has set up a laboratory near Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to demonstrate and market its 4DX system.

The 4-D experience is wowing fans in South Korea, Thailand and Mexico, where CJ Group has 29 specialty theaters that regularly screen big Hollywood titles such as"Avatar,""Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and"Prometheus," which featured the crashing spaceship.

Now CJ Group is close to finalizing a deal with a nationwide U.S. chain to create nearly 200 4-D theaters in the next five years, with the first to open this year in Los Angeles, New York and several other major cities.

CJ Group executives say its 4-D venues already draw sellout crowds from Seoul to Mexico City, and they predict that U.S. audiences are ready to shell out an extra $8 for the new movie experience. They say 4-D technology will help reverse the longtime decline in cinema attendance in the U.S.
I have yet to watch a movie in such a theater, but I may try to catch Batman or The Avengers or something while I'm in Seoul, if they're still available. I just hope it's better and smoother than the nascent 4-D technology of the Taejŏn Expo back in 1990-something, which seemed Disney-derivative and a little jerky.

In 2012, this scene means the guy is watching a 4-D movie.
In 1982, it would have just meant there were a bunch of smokers in the theater. 

... Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.