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Vibrating Recliners: A New Level of Desperation for AMC?

By Laura Santoro

AMC Theatre

 

As if the mainstream resurgence of 3D presentation in 2003 wasn’t enough, last year AMC spent over $600 million to remodel its theaters with fully reclining, glossy pleather seats. In a desperate attempt to convince people back into the theaters, and inadvertently, destroy sixty-four percent of the seating capacity, the second-largest theater chain wagered its fiscal future. However, this new installment lifted theater attendance by a shocking eighty-four percent and served to demonstrate how bigger really is better. As sixty-inch plush excursions, these luxury destinations encouraged not only more enthusiastic viewers, but encouraged AMC to ask for a higher substantial share in revenue profits from movie studios. It is needless to say that while AMC has propelled a history of industry innovation with a mission to deliver comfort and convenience, the company has been and still continues to be, a corporate, privately-ownedestablishment that seeks profits–big profits. To this end, AMC found that their increased attendance rates and renegotiated studio shares weren’t enough last year and have a new, potential installment under consideration–vibration simulations. With a financial bravado that only big, corporate chains could possess, AMC is currently considering the addition of a vibrating, rumble feature to their new reclining installments.

AMC Chairs

Contracted by Tremor FX, the vibrating, rumble feature acts to enhance cinematic presentations by being specially programmed to a movie’s sound effects and tonal quality. Jolts and jostles occur primarily according to action-based sequences. In addition, secondary sounds and expositions can be felt in different parts of the seat. The system acts as a kinetic sensory arrangement containing a proprietary, patent-pending audio processing unit. Although, asintelligent as the system may be, it presents a number of problematic issues that could potentially thwart off viewers: motion sickness, system failure, increased costs and discomfort for children and the elderly. It is these potential issues that makes AMC tentative to make any deals with Tremor FX. Although, when attendance rates begin to plummet after the recliner hyper, will this change? Whereas this system works best with action-based sequences, will this new technology encourage Hollywood to produce more overdramatized, action genre films? While modern technology recognizes our growing commoditized culture, it inadvertently could negatively impact the production of films based on merit. Whether this is a good thing or not is a matter of opinion so let us know by commenting below!