The seats move while mist and scents are emitted into the air — it’s not a ride but the new trend of movie theaters that are expected to come to the U.S. These new forms of movie theaters are known as 4D theaters.
The 4D theaters are meant to give moviegoers a more engaging movie experience.
Rod Bingaman, a senior lecturer in the film and video department, said 4D theaters are inspired by amusement parks.
“I wonder if we will have to sign a disclaimer before watching these movies? It’s like getting on a ride,” Bingaman said.
According to Kevin Hagopian, a senior lecturer in the film and video department, 4D theaters are popular in Asia, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Hagopian said these types of theaters will be popular for action and franchise films.
He said he believes the creation of 4D theaters is another attempt to create interest in attending traditional theaters.
“This is a long line of marketing-based decisions aimed at making the distinction between seeing movies in a theater, at home or on a mobile device,” Hagopian said. “It is about creating an experience you can’t get at home.”
Bingaman also said the promotion of 4D theaters is a reaction to a shrinking audience.
“People can get the same experience at home so theaters aren’t a big deal,” Bingaman said. “The theater audience keeps getting smaller and younger.”
Once 4D theaters arrive in the United States, Hagopian thinks people will be excited to watch movies in 4D theaters.
Yet, he does not think audiences will be willing to pay the extra cost to watch a movie in 4D every time they visited a movie theater.
“I wonder if going to the movies will become for the elite because charges are so high,” Hagopian said.
Bingaman said he does not think 4D theaters will become as popular as 3D theaters. He said transforming 3D theaters to 4D will cost thousands of dollars and is not cost efficient.
Billy Gilbert, who has already seen two films in 4D, said there is nothing wrong with adding a little extra to the movie experience.
Yet, Gilbert (junior-nuclear engineering) said he wasn’t a fan of the 4D films and would not spend the extra cash to see another.
“I was fine with 2D. 3D didn’t add enough to make me want to pay more money …I don’t think 4D will either,” Gilbert said.