3D is soooo 20 minutes ago. Seems buzzwords like “4D,” and even “5D” or “6D,” is where the entertainment biz is starting to focus. Of course, all this has actual scientists slapping their foreheads — there’s absolutely nothing scientific about this marketing lingo. In this application, it merely means adding other facets to a theater experience, such as rumbling seats, sprayed mist during rainy or waterlogged scenes, and other gimmicks to make the movies “come alive” to our senses.
Now there’s a new one to add to the list: Taste. Last month, moviegoers at London’s Electric Cinema had the option of choosing a $35 (USD) “Edible Cinema” experience, a new offering that allowed guests to consume foods correlating to specific scenes in Guillermo Del Toro’s film Pan’s Labyrinth. Audience members who signed up got themed snack packs prior to the movie, and then during the film, numbered cards signaled which tastes to sample. (I suppose this means the film’s a “7D” experience now? Uh, okay.)
Say the scene was set in a forest. People would be prompted to munch on some pine-smoked popcorn. Or when Ofelia eats a magical grape in the movie, people would get the go-ahead to eat the corresponding grapes in their packages.
While one indie venue experimenting with the theater experience doesn’t exactly quite qualify this as a bona fide trend, it’s an interesting low-tech approach to a serious conundrum: Cinema operators are increasingly losing audiences to streaming, so they need to get creative to draw in business. And you know, the marketing machine just loves to slap “numbers+D” on everything they can, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see others hop on the “taste” bandwagon.
What do you think of this approach? Would it be enough to get you to log off and hit the theaters again?