I am constantly amazed at the number of novelty attractions popping up in Korea. After living in Korea for over a year, I am still discovering new entertainment experiences that just aren't available in the United States (or at least, I have not seen them). Examples that come to mind include screen golf, pet cafes, and party motels (don't know party motels??...check them out here). Some of these attractions are just gimmicky, but others, truly are fun and are guaranteed to be a good time. When hearing about a new diversion, often my initial reaction is the thought "only in Korea". Well that is exactly what I thought when I heard about 4D movie theaters.
Everyone, and their mother, has heard about 3D movie theaters. 3D is so commonplace now that the novelty of seeing a movie in 3d has pretty much worn off. I guess that is what some people in Korea were thinking when they decided to invest in 4D movie theaters. If you don't know what 4D movies are, think 3D movies and then add all of the senses (minus taste) to the movie going experience. Confused??? Let me explain.
While you are watching a movie on screen, there will be a variety of effects happening around the theater. It all depends on the scene. If there is a auto crash or explosion, the massage sensors in your chair will rumble or lightly move. If the main characters gets punched, you might even feel a light jab in the same place. Crazy huh?
It gets better. They even try to involve smell as well. If there is a car chase, the aroma of burnt rubber might waft through the theater. Or you might smell the perfume or cologne of one of the well-dressed main characters!
Other effects include feeling breezes of air during windy scenes and even drops of water during rainstorms. I have even heard of some theaters usiing fog machines, smoke machines, and bubble makers to enhance the experience.
It truly is a new way to see a movie. Like 3D movies in Korea, the tickets are a little more pricey than normal viewings, but the price will eventually be reduced once the technology becomes more common. The leading theater company promoting this technology in Korea is called CGV. They are young and at this time only have a few 4D theaters around Seoul, but they are expanding rapidly. To find out where you can see a 4D movie, check out this website. Rumor has it that they plan to open up a few 4D theaters in the United States in the coming year, but until then, it looks like you will have to come to Korea!
If you have a problem of staying awake during movies, 4D movies just might be what you need.
Adam Montgomery is a 25-year old teacher at the Chungdahm Branch on Jeju. He has been teaching in Korea for over a year. When he is not teaching, he enjoys exploring the wonders of Jeju and Korea.