A new dimension: 4D cinema comes to Chile

From next April, Chile’s moviegoers will be able to enjoy the benefits of touch and smell as well as sight.


The delicate scent of a wild flower and the flutter of a gentle breeze are some of the simple pleasures of the outdoors. And now, the movies.

Chile’s largest cinema chains are preparing to launch 4D movie theaters in a bid to add an extra element to the viewing experience.

The country’s first 4D theater will be launched by the Movieland chain next April at its proposed 12-theater complex in the towering Costanera Center development in Santiago’s financial district.

“This is a great investment because the installation will affect the entire theater, not just the content that is projected onto the screen,” Movieland’s marketing director, Ricardo Osorio, told La Tercera.

“The theater will have a layout similar to those found in some of the amusement parks in the United States, in which you can smell scent, feel the wind or have the seats move.”

Although 4D technology was developed almost three decades ago, it has been slow to take off. Recently, the technology has rolled out in several Asian markets including India, China, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Earlier this year, Mexico also joined the list, becoming the first Spanish-speaking country in the world to employ the multi-sensory technology.

“[In the past], the problem was the lack of content as there aren’t so many films in this format. But now that they have done it in Mexico, we feel encouraged,” said Osorio.

Other cinema chains, such as Cinemark and Hoyts, confirmed that they were also thinking about introducing 4D theaters.

“We are trying to satisfy all the needs of our audiences and without doubt, 4D is something that we are trying to do,” Cinemark’s business director, Karina Ventura, told the Chilean media.

The launch of Chile’s first 4D movie theater follows a steady increase in the number of 3D theaters throughout the country.

In 2009 there were just 13 3D movie theaters in Chile, but in 2010 that figure rose to 30, and today there are 68 theaters equipped with three-dimensional technology.