Escapism has always been one of the biggest draws of cinema. Whether an audience just wants to hang out with a couple of funny people and laugh at their jokes for 90 minutes or get sucked into a 120 minute-long space opera complete with starship battles, the closer a person can get to the movie world in a theater, the better. Enter the new theater technology known as 4DX, which, for the first time ever, was used in the U.S. this past weekend.
Yahoo! has the scoop on the new specialty screening format, which was just recently installed at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 in Downtown Los Angeles - the first of many planned locations. Created by the South Korean company CJ 4DPlex, the technology works by engaging all five of a persons senses while watching a movie. The chairs are set upon gimbals to move around and shake, theaters can replicate various smells, and the seats are even programmed to blow air and water on the audience. All of this is synced up with the events up on the big screen.
And what better way to test out the new technology than with one of the most spectacular, action-packed movies that have been released so far this year? The first ever 4DX screening in the United States was of Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and from Yahoo!'s description it sounds like one hell of a ride. The article mentions events like air blowing in your face as Black Widow's fired bullets fly across the screen, quick chair jolts as Captain America throws his shield around to take down bad guys, and even a little splash as Nick Fury drives through a puddle.
For a detailed breakdown of exactly how it all works, watch the video below. I would highly recommend skipping past the intro and going straight to the 2:10 mark, which is when it begins to break down the various sensory stimulants that are available during a 4DX screening.
It's a shame there probably wasn't an opportunity to use the bubble effect during Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
If you want to try out 4DX for yourself, know that it will cost you a pretty penny. At the LA Live - which is admittedly a pretty expensive theater normally - a ticket for a 4DX screening of Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction will run you $26.75 per ticket ($8 more than a standard 3D ticket).
While I'm not looking forward to paying that tab, I will say that I am curious about testing 4DX at least once. While it may not necessarily be the future of cinema, it could at the very least be a fun way to see an action flick. For more information about the company and when a theater might be coming to a location near you, head over to 4DX's official website.