As more and more content becomes available to stream from the comfort of a living room, cinemas are having a harder and harder time luring audiences into theaters. But will turning the movie-going experience into a tame thrill ride—including blasting audiences in the face with water—help boost attendance?
A company called CJ 4DPlex believes that interactive movie seats are the secret to filling theaters.
At the upcoming CinemaCon tradeshow in Las Vegas, CJ 4DPlex will be introducing a trio of new effects for its interactive 4DX movie theater seats that are already able to move, vibrate, and even tickle audience members to enhance what they’re seeing on-screen. At the moment the 4DX theater seats have a larger install base outside the U.S., but the company is hoping that the addition of snow, rainstorms, and warm air effects will help encourage more theaters to install them in North America.
And while it might sound like these effects are just simulations, the 4DX seats actually feature hidden misters and fans that are able to squirt audiences with water to recreate the feeling of being caught in a rainstorm, or blast them with warm air to make them feel like they’re actually visiting a tropical locale. These three effects will join other in-theater gimmicks like bubble machines used to simulate the feeling of being underwater, or actual fog that helps bring a creepy scene off the screen. But will it be enough to get movie patrons back into theaters? At least until Netflix introduces vibrating couches. [CJ 4DPlex via Variety]