We’ve been writing a lot lately about the changes happening to keep movie theaters in business, from 4DX houses that update William Castle gimmicks for the 21st century to proposed surcharges for optimal seats that mimic the coach/business/first-class airline model. Now it’s time for the airlines to take a page out of the movie-theater playbook: According to Variety, the new Airbus currently in development for late 2017, called the A330 Neo, will be the first airplane to offer 3-D movies to passengers, finally realizing the Wright Brothers’ dream well over a century after they took first flight. The promise of 3-D is just the latest volley in Airbus’ battle with its chief competitor, Boeing’s Dreamliner, in the effort to marry efficiency and size with comfort and modern accommodations. It’s an expansion on the existing Airbus in-flight entertainment system, and will broadcast over HD seatback screens.
The move comes as the future of 3-D TVs remains in doubt, after disappointing sales have forced the industry to figure out how to make a 3-D set without the glasses, which have been the main sticking point. It’s unclear whether glasses—and their attendant surcharge—will be necessary once the A330 rolls out a few years from now, but on top of fast wi-fi and a range of other channels and options, the days of staring mirthlessly at the seat in front of you are coming to an end. By the time Legends Of Oz 2: Toto’s Revenge comes out in a few years, you’ll have some options.