Audience at ICTA session is 'Taken' with MediaMation
Indicative of its growing prominence as a go-to player in the rapidly expanding global 4D cinema marketplace, veteran interactive technologies company MediaMation, Inc. (MMI) of Torrance, Calif., both hosted and participated in various high-profile activities related to the recent International Cinema Technology Association conference (ICTA). The series of MMI events culminated in a successful industry-only screening of the Liam Neeson action thriller, Taken 3 at MediaMation’s new 104-seat MX4D™ Motion EFX Theatre, located at the Plaza Stadium Cinemas 14 in Oxnard, Calif.
Holding its conference at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles Jan. 19-21, the ICTA promotes technological advancements in the motion picture industry through educational seminars and programs. “4D” refers to an emerging “immersive” technology which allows moviegoers to experience Hollywood blockbusters in a new way via the addition of moving seats, air/water blasts, leg ticklers, fog, scents and other special effects that emanate from specially designed theatre seats, or from inside the theatre itself. These special effects are programmed to both sync with and enhance the action onscreen for a more exciting and realistic moviegoing experience.
On Jan. 20, MMI founder and chief technology officer Dan Jamele addressed the large industry crowd of theatre chain operators, motion picture studios and cinema tech vendors who gathered to attend the ICTA “Immersive Technologies” panel, moderated by Susie Beiersdorf, Sony Electronics’ VP of sales, digital cinema solutions. Jamele, a technology innovator and executive who has developed numerous products and software, as well as immersive attractions, for over 20 years, described how MX4D theatres increase an exhibitor’s incremental attendance, transaction rates and overall revenue. Additionally, he pointed out how the avid moviegoer, who is the best customer, has taken to this technology, and predicted that all of the major movies will be in the MX4D format once they experience it.
“With over 9,000 motion seats installed in various venues, parks, attractions and cinemas worldwide, MMI has a unique experience base for this technology,” Jamele stated. “We knew that as we introduced the cinema-goer to Hollywood movies in the MX4D format, it would be a huge hit. Certainly the most important thing on an exhibitor’s mind these days is how to differentiate the cinema experience from not only their competitors’ theatres, but what people can experience in their own home today. MX4D Motion EFX Theatres provide their customers with excitement and immersion like no other technology that they simply can’t get at home or in their competition’s theatres.”
Besides sponsoring a well-attended ICTA industry luncheon earlier in the week, MMI invited conference attendees and guests on Wednesday, Jan. 21, to enjoy a gourmet box meal and champagne aboard a chartered luxury bus to MMI’s aforementioned MX4D theatre in Oxnard. After receiving complimentary popcorn and drinks courtesy of Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, owners of Plaza Stadium Cinemas 14, attendees were able to experience MMI’s MX4D hardware and software technology in action via the specially programmed screening of Twentieth Century Fox’s box-office hit Taken 3.
Among the various positive comments heard about MX4D at the VIP screening, Dale Davison, senior VP of operations and development at Metropolitan Theatres, stated: “I think there is definitely a market for this product. I think you have a large audience, let’s say between the ages of maybe 12 to late 20s, early 30s, that really—especially for the action-adventure pictures and horror pictures—will find this a further enhancement…”
Noted Vince Power, business development manager at XPAND: “What I was impressed with was that the action in the chair meshed very well with the imagery that you were watching…this was very well done.”
Added Heather Blair, MMI’s head of cinema sales: “We felt it was important to show a full-length feature MX4D movie to cinema exhibitors, VPs of technology, equipment suppliers and integrators, as well as to studio executives who supply MediaMation with content. Most of these people have only been to demonstrations at our office and at shows such as CinemaCon and CineAsia. We wanted to drive home that this experience is not only well-received in countries such as Mexico and Colombia, but also works well in the U.S. in smaller DMAs as well as larger ones like Los Angeles.”
Commenting on the Taken 3 ICTA industry event, MediaMation president and CEO Alison Jamele declared: “We were genuinely pleased by the great turnout and enthusiastic industry response to our MX4D experience. Cinema industry influencers were finally able to understand what all the buzz is about regarding our innovative 4D technology. With our MX4D Motion EFX Theatre in Oxnard, ticket sales for the 4D experience have bypassed its 3D counterpart, as well as increased revenue by attracting incremental customers to the theatre.”
MediaMation has installed MX4D Motion EFX seats and turnkey 4D/5D theatres throughout the world. Most recently, installations have included 250+ motion-effects seats each for Cinemex’s X4D® Cinema Theatres installed/installing throughout Mexico in 17 of their cineplexes. Longstanding MMI clients such as “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” Moving 4D Theatres in San Antonio and Baltimore, as well as Legoland Discovery Centers in Toronto, Chicago and other locations, continue to use MMI to supply them with quality 4D immersive theatres. MediaMation’s MX4D Motion EFX Theatres are installed in more than 34 countries. For more information, visit www.mediamation.com.