The inevitable theater comeback

posted by Michael Zoldessy on September 12, 2007 at 7:45 am

Just when you thought it was safe to forget about those laughable 1950’s theater experiments, Smellovision returns.

Megan Dickerson is reviving the idea of Smellovision — a concept developed 50 years ago that never caught on.

The idea is enhance the viewing experience for an audience by circulating smells that go with what’s happening on the screen.

Dickerson has developed a scent filled show of Willy Wonka, and staged it for hundreds of people in the Boston area.

Read the full story at Eyewitness News WPRI.

Comments (1)

TheaterBuff1 on September 13, 2007 at 1:10 am

I don’t see how this idea could work unless one particular smell is used for the entire showing and no others. Such as filling the theater with the strong scent of chocolate all throughout the screening of WILLY WONKA. That I can see as being workable. But that’s a unique case. In other instances, however, this idea could be a disaster — literally! — such as filling the theater with the strong smell of smoke during the burning of Atlanta scene in GONE WITH THE WIND. Talk about yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater so to speak!

And the big lingering question from the 1950s still remains: If more than one smell is to be used during a screening, how do you quickly clear away one smell to make way for the next? And I can’t ever recall a time sitting watching a movie while thinking, “Gee, if only I could smell what I’m watching”…

But maybe in some cases it could work.

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