Monday, November 10, 2008

Interesting idea

One of the more unusual things we saw was "Fins Theater" which is like a giant home theater.  Well, more like a home theater on steroids.  It looks kind of like the prototypes you see at home shows, or Bose stores, or high end A/V shops.
Six people sit and are treated to a promotional Dolphins video.  Its a well done video, and the experience is certainly nice.  The surround sound is there, and there are sub-woofers under each seat to make it all more "like you're there."
A couple of things struck me.  First, it seemed like a "gimmick" from the 1950s.
And actually there was a 70s idea called "Sensurround"  Here's the description from

In the 70's, disaster flicks were huge business, and Universal Studios was eager-beaver to take it to the next level. This next level was called "Sensurround", and it was used for a handful of movies including 1974's Earthquake and 1976's Midway.

You know how you get a funny feeling if you hold a subwoofer up to your belly and crank the tunes? This was the basic idea behind Sensurround. They equipped theaters with giant speakers that would rumble out the bass at certain points in the movie, so that moviegoers would actually feel their insides quivering due to the sonic attack.

The funny thing was, Sensurround was somewhat of a hit, and helped to make these films legitimate event tickets. Unfortunately, there were a few hitches with the system: it caused several patrons to become physically sick, it damaged the actual theater it was in (cracks were quickly seen on the walls and ceilings, and one theater saw a huge chunk of roof come down and flatten 10 empty seats), and people sitting in the next theater over couldn't hear their own movie. This, coupled with the cost of the equipment, saw the early end of Sensurround.

I can only imagine if these were still in operation in today's extreme sports culture - who wouldn't want to go to a movie where you could potentially get a nose bleed or hit by a ceiling tile for just showing up?

And second, I noticed there were a fair number of suites that didn't have names on them.  When you purchase a luxury suite, you get your name (or your business name) embossed outside the door.  There were a bunch with no names.  Clearly, the Dolphins want to sell more suites, and this is a clever marketing tool.  I will give them that.  And I'm sure if you have the jack, it makes an impression.
Oh, and one thing I find really amusing about the convergence of marketing is that there's the concept of selling "what its like to be here" as shown on the video versus the whole luxury concept of "you don't even have to sit in the stands; you can sit in the luxurious club level instead"...
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