COLUMN: 4-D movies to make U.S. debut

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By Keight Knight, Staff Writer

 If you’re a fan of 3-D movies then you may be in for a treat; if you aren’t a 3-D lover you could be spending less money at movie theaters over the next few years.

The 4-D movie is preparing to make its U.S. debut in public theaters.

The South Korean CJ Group plans to open more than 200 U.S. venues during the next four years.

The 4-DX, as the CJ Group refers to it, will lead off in bigger cities like Los Angeles and New York later in 2012.

4-D movies will combine the 3-D experience, glasses and all, with your senses of smell and touch.

The 4-DX offers rumbling theater seats equipped with tiny nozzles that emit more than 1,000 different variations of 4-D gimmicks.

Scents, fog, water, wind, lights and bubbles all accompany your traditional 3-D experience.

Disney and Six Flags have offered similar experiences for 25 years at locations such as Epcot and Disneyland.

CJ Group wants to make 4-D more accessible to the public but at an average cost of another $8 per ticket. Since the resurgence of 3-D film in 2004 I’ve seen good use of the technique (Avatar) and bad (Clash of the Titans). I’ve also paid more money to watch 3-D movies and in turn have higher expectations.

Nowadays I find it hard enough to dish out $12 to $15 on a sketchy 3-D movie (Green Hornet).

Looking ahead to 2014: Is being able to smell Dawn of the Planet of the Apes worth paying more than $20 to watch in a vibrating chair? The people of Mexico, South Korea and Thailand think so. CJ Group already has 30 specialty theaters showing the biggest movies to sell-out crowds. The U.S. can look forward to these new theaters late 2012. Get your senses ready.