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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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If You Like Your Movies Physically As Well As Emotionally Assaultive, You’ll Love 4DX

Movies are the most immersive art form ever created. At their best, they are almost literally transportive. But apparently, they’re not quite immersive or transportive enough. Over the last couple years, studios and exhibitors have hatched up a series of new gimmicks designed to bring customers “inside” the movie (and to bring studios and exhibitors further inside their customers’ wallets), from 3D to IMAX to D-BOX. The latest is 4DX, which has been around in various parts of the world since 2009, but just debuted in New York City this week. According to its official site, which bills the format as “the ultimate in state of the art technology delivering a fully immersive cinematic experience,” 4DX advances “the movie theater experience from watching the movie to almost living it.”

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Empty movie theater
Alamy
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In-Home Screening Room Draws Support From Major Filmmakers

Last week, we took note of a new business venture called Screening Room spearheaded by Napster founder Sean Parker. The proposed service would digitally stream the latest major-studio theatrical releases into the confines of private American homes for a hefty estimated fee of $50 on the same day as in-theater premieres, rendering a trip to the local cineplex less necessary than ever. Naturally, this radical new strategy would change the entire face of the industry, and has accordingly raised hackles on the production, distribution, and exhibition sides of Hollywood. As movie theaters struggle to stay relevant and profitable, Parker’s every press conference sounds like a death knell. And this weekend, both sides of this instantly contentious debate dug in their heels on their positions.

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Ziegfeld Theater
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images
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Requiem for a Movie Theater (And Maybe All Movie Theaters?)

The Ziegfeld Theater isn’t much to look at from the outside. True, it has that old-fashioned marquee, with the little light bulbs and the name “Ziegfeld” written in perfect cursive, as if God himself signed his name to a building. But otherwise its exterior is totally nondescript; maybe even ugly. It’s a bland gray and black box amidst the offices and hotels on 54th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. It’s not attention grabbing. It’s easy to walk by without giving it a second thought. And clearly thousands of people do exactly that every day; the theater has been losing money for years (over $1 million annually, according to The New York Post). Although the theater’s leaseholder, Cablevision, has made no formal announcement, today is apparently its last day as a functioning movie theater. After tonight’s 10PM showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Ziegfeld closes forever.

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movie theater
Stockbyte
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Thief Made $70,000 a Week Crawling on Movie-Theater Floors — Dollars and Sense

It took some serious slithering, but Anthony Johnson was able to steal as much as $70,000 a week from unsuspecting movie-theater patrons.

According to an accomplice who turned on him, Johnson would purchase a ticket for a movie that women were likely to see. Then he and a female partner would crawl around on the floor of the dark theater, plundering the purses sitting at the ladies' feet.

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