Last weekend was a pretty big occasion for film fans – not because Michael Bay unleashed another Transformers movie on audiences, but because it saw the opening of America’s first 4DX theater. If you thought seeing movies in 3D was a big deal, 4D is even more involved (and significantly more expensive).
The Regal Cinemas L.A. Live in Los Angeles has the distinction of being home to the country’s first 4DX experience – and the guys from /Film were kind enough to bite the bullet and see Transformers: Age of Extinction, then report back on the experience.
What is 4DX?
Essentially, 4DX technology takes a film and turns it into an amusement park ride. Seats rumble and move in relation to the action on-screen, water is spritzed on to viewers, lightning flashes in the auditorium, wind blows as bullets whiz by your head, and so on. Don’t just take our word for it, check out this promotional clip that gives you the lowdown firsthand.
While we’re not sure we’d want to see every film in this format (can you imagine something like 12 Years a Slave in 4DX?), the video does make it look pretty cool. So, what did the /Film guys think of it after spending 165 minutes in a 4DX theater?
All in all, they were impressed. Their video review below covers all the details, but the overall impression was that it was a cool experience. Spending $24 for a matinee showing is pretty high, and could potentially hurt the mainstream appeal of 4DX in the long run, but we suspect most movie fans would pay that price at least once just for the experience. It’s hard to argue that this technology could really add another level to summer blockbuster viewing.
Whether or not 4DX will catch on with the masses remains to be seen – but the format has done well in the global market so far. With the debut of the first domestic screen, expect to see more and more theaters adding this experience to their repertoire in the near future.
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