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Sridhar Kumar

Pansensory cinema

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In one of the guest lectures at my school, the filmmaker talked about how cinema industry competed with TV in the 1950's. He mentioned that 3D technology, pansensory cinema, cinemascope are some of the approaches Hollywood took to bring the audience back to theater. I googled pansensory cinema and I didn't get anything. What is pansensory cinema? Are there a different term for this. Thanks.

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Are they talking about something like the modern gimmick where people get sprayed with water, scents, and moved around in their seats?


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I think the gimmicks existing in the 50s were those like William Castle's really cheesy ones, such as "Percepto!", where there would be a small electrical jolt under the seats that would give you a little buzz.

He also swung skeletons over the audience in some horror films.

There was another called "Illusion-O" where you'd put on glasses to "see" ghosts in the 13 Ghosts movie.

Later in the 70's there was Sensurround used for Earthquake which was heavy use of  subwoofers for when the quake was in full effect.

Fun stuff. 

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My local has been providing the service for awhile:

The rooms smell of damp to enhance horror film basement scenes 

The chairs move and vibrate - due to minimal leg room encouraging seat kickers 

Surround sound is offered in the form of teenagers and pensioners chatting all the way through

Interactive lighting effects are provided using various phone screens

Multiple Language's offered by the "English as a foreign language" students from the local collage summer school


Not being a fan of such gimmicks, i tend to watch more and more films at home. 

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