4-D theater opens in the United States

In 2009, “Avatar” was the first major picture viewed in 4-D

NEW YORK (CNN) – You’ve likely heard of 3-D movies, but a movie theater in California offers a new movie going experience called 4-D.

With 4-D, it’s not just about watching the action, it’s about feeling it.

“I usually go to sleep in the movies, but gosh! Not that one,” said moviegoer Shanequa Hatcher.

As movies face ever-increasing competition to snag eyeballs, one company is betting it can lure people into theaters with the fourth dimension.

Korean company CJ4DPlex is opening the first American 4-D theater in Los Angeles.

The technology isn’t new. In 2009, “Avatar” was the first major picture viewed by audiences in 4-D. Just not here in the united states.

“I think a lot of people have been waiting in the wings to see if 4DX will work in America,” said Angela Killoren of CJ4DPlex America

What are all the things that the 4-D chairs can do?

“Well obviously motion chair. The back shaker and then the leg tickler,” said Young Choi, 4DX Creative Director.

If that’s not enough, there are more effects in and around the chairs, like mist, rain, wind, strobe lights, even scents and bubbles. The company may have an uphill battle.

“It’s not family oriented. It’s something that you would go out to with your friends,” said moviegoer Steffin Calhoun.

While last year’s total box office jumped one percent in the U.S., 3-D receipts went the other direction, dropping a percent, even though Hollywood’s 45 3-D releases were nine more than the year before.

So many American movie theater owners are hesitant to take on 4-D, until they see how this theater does.

“What they’re going to require with 4-D is for audiences to get on the 4-D bandwagon. If that catches on, then it goes from being a gimmick to a trend and potentially a habit of movie going,” said Sr. Media Analyst for Rentrak Paul Dergarabedian.

With an upcharge of $8 a ticket, consumers could end up paying around $25 a pop to see a 3-D movie with 4-D effects.

“Being a father and having a wife and 2 kids, it can get to be a very expensive investment,” said moviegoer Alex Orellana.

Is every movie right for 4-D?

“Absolutely not. We do our job in choosing movies that will work well in 4DX. It’s not like we are doing something constantly like a ride. We pull back, let the story take over, but then when there’s exciting moments, the 4D gets going and, you know, the adrenaline is rushing,” said Killoren.

Only time will tell if moviegoers will be rushing back for more.

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