4D formatted films in anvil

MUMBAI: Ever since the advent of 3D formatted movies, practically every big-budget film is being released in the format, with higher ticket prices boosting the box-office intake.

The latest attempt to move beyond 3D technology has resulted in a new cinematic encounter known as 4-D. The film industry is enthusiastic about the unique theatre- experience that 4D promises to deliver.

CJ Group, a South Korean company that operates Asia‘s largest theater chain, is on the cutting edge of the technology necessary for the display of 4-D movies. The company has 29 specialty theatres that screen blockbuster studio releases such as Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Prometheus.

The group is on the verge of closing a transaction with a nationwide US cinema chain that would create 200 4D theatres over the next five years.

The 4D technology has already been in use in theatres in Thailand, South Korea, and Mexico, and also in some theme parks. One of the company‘s biggest clients is the fourth-largest theater chain, Cinepolis, which recently expanded into Southern California. The company owns a dozen 4D theatres in Mexico.

Company execs project that filmgoers will be willing to pay an additional $8 beyond the cost of mere 3-D just to involve more of their senses while watching their favorite superheroes. CJ set up a lab located close to the famous Grauman‘s Chinese Theater in Hollywood to demonstrate and market its latest system, which it calls 4DX.

This isn‘t the first time that the film industry has tried to bring senses other than sight to film audiences. In 1960 a film titled Scent of Mystery utilised something called ‘Smell-O-Vision‘ which featured 30 different odours that included the smell of flowers, liquor, and gun smoke wafting toward the nostrils of the audience at appropriate times during the screening.

Then, for a film that was released in 1974 titled Earthquake, theatres used a technology called Sensurround that utilised large bass resonating speakers that shook the room with such intensity that Grauman‘s Chinese theatre had to install a safety net to catch falling plaster as the film was shown.

In 1981 John Waters used what is called as Odorama which allowed the audience to smell the cinematic scenes with scratch-and-sniff cards and in 2011 Robert Rodriguez used a similar approach that he referred to as Aromascope.

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