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Enhancing the Moviegoer Experience with 4DX

KCET(January 14, 2015)

Most people go to the movies to escape reality and enjoy some good old fashioned storytelling through eye-popping visuals that keep you on the edge of your seat. But what if you could actually experience it in a more realistic way?

A new kind of theater is hoping to kick the cinematic experience up a notch by using special motion sensors and advanced 4D technology to transform a moviegoer`s seat into a living, breathing scene.

CJ 4Dplex is a Korean company that has become one of the major players in the emerging 4D theater scene. The first 4DX theater in the country is located at the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.

Special effects include just about anything you can imagine: from the scent of gun powder during violent scenes, to bursts of bubbles, the smell of coffee, and even water spurting out of the seat.

But not everyone is thrilled about 4D effects. Some moviegoers prefer watching a movie without the fancy, expensive special effects that can sometimes take away from the movie experience rather than enhance it. Plus, tickets for a 4DX movie aren`t exactly cheap. They can creep well over $20. Still, moviegoers are perpetually curious and ready to pay more for movies in exchange for a healthy dose of adrenaline rush.

CJ chief marketing officer Angela Killoren says 4DX theaters have two to three times the occupancy rate as traditional theaters, and in an industry where every empty seat is money that`s sitting on the table, that`s a pretty big deal.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Conor Knighton visits the downtown L.A. 4DX theater equipped with special effects and a big screen. Knighton speaks with Catherine Yi, senior editor for CJ 4Dplex and recent 4DX converts for their reactions and feedback on the recent technology. He also meets with an expert at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the 4DX experience.