From 3D to 4D: What it’s Like to Experience Movies with Another Dimension
I recently went to see the new Spider-Man movie. When reserving the seats (in Korea you reserve seats when booking your tickets), the conversation between my boyfriend and I went like this:
Him: “Do you want to see it in regular?”
Him: “Not sure why I bothered to ask.”
Photo Credit: Official Spider-man Pinterest
As you can see, we have a lot of choices when it comes to watching a movie in Korea. We even have “smart” movie posters now at some theaters, where you just tap your phone to an NFC tag to easily reserve tickets. Living here, I’ve been spoiled with the privilege of enjoying the latest technology, and I often forget that other countries don’t have many of the perks that we do.
However, my favorite Korean movie-going experience, 4D, will soon be heading to more theaters around the world. For those that may not be as familiar with 4D, it is like an enhanced 3D movie experience. In addition to the 3D viewing, there are other elements like moving seats, scents and wind.
Photo Credit: Engadget
How does all this work? In the latest Mission Impossible movie, there were wind effects in scenes like when Tom Cruise is climbing the impossibly high skyscraper or chasing the bad guy in a desert windstorm. During Spider-Man, we empathized with Andrew Garfield as we received some (light) punches from our seats as he was fighting evil forces.
Leading the 4D movement is the CJ Group, a conglomerate that operates Asia’s largest theater chain. Outside of Korea, the CJ Group currently has speciality 4D theaters in other countries like Thailand and Mexico.
Photo Credit: Invest Korea
According to the LA Times, the company is now close to finalizing a deal with a nationwide U.S. chain to install nearly 200 4D theaters over the next five years, with the first to open this year is Los Angeles, New York and other major cities.
Company executives believe that 4D technology will bring moviegoers back to the theater and help to reverse the long decline in cinema attendance in the U.S.
I have been a die hard fan of 4D movies since I first experienced them in Korea and am an outspoken advocate of them. As a side note, I am also in favor of theaters in other countries expanding their snack selections. In Korea, there is no candy, but there are usually four different flavors of popcorn (regular, caramel, onion, and cheese) as well as other goodies like squid (don’t knock it ‘till you try it). They are also kind enough to offer half-half combinations, for us indecisive/greedy folks.
What used to only be available at amusement parks may now be at a theater near you. Would you pay the extra eight bucks to watch a movie in 4D? Share your thoughts in the comments!