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Korean company seeks to shake up U.S. theaters with '4-D' effects

July 07, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • Theodore Kim -- chief operating officer of the Los Angeles lab of theater operator CJ 4DPlex -- is hit with fog, one of the special effects the company creates for its "4-D" moviegoing experience.
Theodore Kim -- chief operating officer of the Los Angeles lab of theater… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

First came 3-D. Now comes 4-D.

A South Korean company called CJ Group, which operates Asia's largest theater chain, has set up a laboratory near Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to demonstrate and market what it calls 4DX. The system uses a variety of physical and sensory effects -- including vibrating seats, wind blasts, scents, strobe lights and water sprays -- to bring more physical reality to moviegoing.

The 4-D experience already is a hit with moviegoers in South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil and China, where CJ Group has 29 specialty theaters that regularly screen big Hollywood titles like "Avatar" and "The Avengers."

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 ones to open later this year in Los Angeles, New York and several other major cities. The company is also opening new sites in Russia, Poland, Israel and Britain.

To learn more, read the full story in the Los Angeles Times and watch a trailer for 4DX.

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