Uncubed

Upgrade |

NY’s bizarre new 4DX movie theater promises real life fog, rain, and smells

Orson Welles would be proud.

Screen Grab

Home entertainment is better than ever before, and with this week’s launch of Oculus Rift, it’s possible to envision a future in which people don’t ever leave the house. That’s bad news for movie theaters, which have stepped up their game to lure you away from that 4K flat-screen.

Cinema’s latest innovation/desperate ploy is 4DX, developed by South Korea’s CJ 4DPLEX, and launched there in 2009.

These specially equipped theaters promise to immerse you in blockbuster films through moving and vibrating seats, gusts of wind, simulated rain, fog, snow, scents, and bubbles, for reasons that escape us entirely.

(Another mystery: if you’re trying to figure out exactly why the theaters are called 4DX – do they time-travel somehow? – give up now. You won’t find any answers.)

The first 4DX-equipped theater in New York debuted last week with the much reviled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it would appear the strobe lights, fog machines, and “strong scents” don’t do much to improve the cinematic experience.

Quartz describes the experience thus: “The annoying physical distractions that the auditorium inflicts upon moviegoers don’t immerse you in the movie; they completely take you out of it.”

And Wired offers the following advisory: “And by the way, once the movie’s through, your upper butt will feel as though it’s been massaged by a coked-up gibbon.”

If you want to discover the power of an amphetamine-fueled ape for yourself, tickets will run you a hefty $28. Next up is Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book.

Now go forth (and see an indie film instead).

Share