nobody movie_The 10 best cinema gimmicks of all time, ranked

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With surprising masterpieces like Everything everywhere at once Gaining huge audiences through word of mouth alone, it’s interesting to look back and study how films and their creators can bring people to the cinema. One such method is to add a gimmick designed to enhance your viewing experience and make your visit to the theater worthwhile.

Whether the films themselves are good or not doesn’t matter. All that matters is whether the associated gimmick is unique and fun, such as: B. the multiple ends of a notice or the intriguing anti-spoiler campaign by Psycho.

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10 movie theater

AMC ArcLight Cinerama dome

The average movie theater screen is between 45 and 65 feet wide, and IMAX theaters reach even larger sizes. Cinerama theaters boasted 97-foot curved screens on which three projectors projected images larger and more immersive than any other theater, with excellent sound and shocking realism.

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Cinerama was invented by Fred Waller and first published in 1952. It had the same goal as many theater gimmicks: to combat the rising popularity of television and lure viewers from their homes to the theaters. Although it popularity waned Due to its high cost and glaring flaws (e.g. if one projection failed, the whole showing suffered) it is still an interesting historical spectacle.


9 Smell-O-Vision

The poster for Scent of Mystery (1960)

The concept of pumping fragrance into theaters to better immerse audiences in the film is very old. Regardless of which specific technique is used (Scentovision, AromaRama or Smell-O-Vision), the general idea is the same. It’s often more trouble than it’s worth, as poor timing ruins the effect and it can take an hour for the smells to flush out of the theater again, but that doesn’t stop theater owners from trying.

There are many creative ways to try. 1960s scent of mystery used specific scents to display characters and reveal plot points. John Waters’ “Odorama” version from 1982 polyester used scratch and sniff cards. New film formats called 4DX purport to be the most innovative development in sensory enhancement for moviegoers and involve smells being pumped into the cinema.


8th Three Different Endings – Clue (1985)

In the masterpiece of black comedy a notice, The classic characters from the original board game must solve a blackmail and murder mystery to find the killer in their midst The most common mystery tropes in film as they walk. The killer’s true identity will be revealed at the end…or will it?

a notice was released in theaters with three different endings, with the idea that viewers would realize that their experience of the film was not the same as others’ and would keep coming back to cinemas to find all the endings. This is a rare example of a theatrical gimmick that translates well to home release: Blu-ray and DVD copies of the film give viewers the chance to choose an ending at random.


7 Death Insurance – Macabre (1958)

The poster for the film Macabre (1958)

Producer William Castle is famous among horror fans for his many creative theatrical gimmicks. One of his earliest was guarantee payment of $1,000 to the families of anyone who died from sight Macabre. Spectators signed real life insurance policies from Lloyd’s of London at the theater door, surrounded by nurses on standby and hearses parked in the street outside.

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According to the trailer, viewers with pre-existing medical conditions are not allowed to collect this policy. Castle himself joined in the fun by arriving in a casket at the film’s big city premieres. done all that Macabre enormously profitable and convinced the studios to allow Castle more films and more elaborate gimmicks.


6 Penalty Poll – Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

Poster for the film Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

In one of William Castle’s best b-movie shockers, the titular Mr. Sardonicus, a reclusive baron cursed with a hideous permanent Rictus grin (not seen in the trailer to keep his reveal shocking), commits many underhanded acts. These include abusing his servants, kidnapping young women and torturing his wife.

After witnessing this, the audience was asked to choose the ending of the film: should Mr. Sardonicus be saved from his curse or left to an agonizing death? The audience overwhelmingly voted to punish him with death. Castle claims in his autobiography that both endings were filmed and were valid options. Footage of the “Mercy” ending has never been found, and some historians believe it to be so never really existedwith Castle accurately predicting and not caring about the audience’s gory behavior.


5 Emergo – House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Vincent Price in House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Possibly the most famous gimmick comes from William Castle House on Haunted Hill (not to be confused with a Adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s Haunted Hill House). At the end of the film, Vincent Price’s character plays a skeleton to scare his treacherous wife into believing he has returned from the dead, scaring her into an acid pit.

At that moment, a real plastic skeleton appeared in the theater and tumbled over the audience on a pulley system. As a screenwriter Robb White complained that as soon as the audience got wind of the gimmick, children would bring slingshots into the theater and try to shoot down the glow-in-the-dark skeleton.


4 Fright Break and Coward’s Corner – Murder (1961)

A yellow ticket for the film Homicidal (1961) that entitles the viewer to a refund if they are too scared to see the ending.

murder is an unforgettable film with wildly entertaining gimmicks. Just before Miriam enters the home of Emily, who she has just realized is a murderess, a 45-second timer starts with a voiceover warning the audience that this was her only chance to hide, if they were too scared to see the end get a refund.

When people actually started going and getting those refunds, Castle added a “coward’s corner.” John Waters, himself a Castle fan, described it in his book Crackhead: Anyone who left was followed by a searchlight to a booth where a nurse took their blood pressure and made them sign a card declaring themselves a “real coward,” while a loud recording laughed and taunted them. The fear of public embarrassment outweighed the desire for money: no one went for refunds anymore.




3 Percepto – The Tingler (1959)

the tingerThe gimmick of is among William Castle’s most sophisticated. The film stars Vincent Price as a scientist who discovers the reason humans instinctively scream when they’re scared: There are creatures that live inside human spines called tinglers that feed on fear, growing bigger and only through that sound of screaming to be shrunk.

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At the climax, a Tingler escapes to a movie theater. The film stops and an image of a crawling Tingler is projected across the screen, with Price warning the audience, “Cry for your lives! The Tingler is loose in this theater!” Buzzers implanted in the seats called Percepto would vibrate, mimicking the sensation of a Tingler in the spine, and paid”Screaming and fainting‘ planted in the audience would be carried on stretchers to elicit the desired screams.


2 Nobody, But Nobody Can Be Late – Psycho (1960)

Sign for Psycho (1960), which explains that no one will be allowed into the cinema after a screening of the film has started.

Alfred Hitchcock, himself an admirer of Castle’s gimmicks, used one of his own to crank it up The greatest thriller of all time: Psycho. He bought up all copies of Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel to prevent anyone from reading the story in advance and instituted a rule that no theater could allow visitors to screen it Psycho as soon as the movie started.

At a time when it was common for fans to hit the movies late and freely discuss spoilers, it was surprising and effective. The theaters stuck to the rule. The spectators lined up in front of the door to see everything Psycho. This served another practical purpose: to ensure that latecomers didn’t wonder where the star Janet Leigh was, as her character is known to be killed just 20 minutes into the film.


1 3D Movies – Various

3-D is the oldest and most popular theater game. The very first 3-D film is believed to have been the now-lost 1922 film the power of love, where red and green film strips were overlaid and viewed through anaglyph glasses. It was also the first film with an alternative ending: the audience chose whether they wanted a happy or a tragic ending.

The first 3D color film was in 1953 wax house, starring Vincent Price and a character bouncing a paddle ball onto the screen and speaking to the audience. In the 1980s, 3-D was a popular fad, albeit of low quality, that was added to films like Pine 3D and Friday the 13th Part III in 3-D. In the 2000s it experienced with films like avatar. The future will show how 3-D will develop.

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