To quote Cineworld’s own words, 4DX ‘stimulates all five senses through high-tech motion seats and special effects such as wind, fog, lightening, bubbles, water, rain and scents’. Barring bubbles, our screening had them all! During action scenes, air jets hissed from my headrest and from somewhere in front. Elsewhere, lights flashed and scents were released. At one point, fog emerged from the bottom corners of the screen. I occassionally felt a light spray from somewhere. It was only the slightest mist from far away. I was curious: Just how much water would have landed on me, had I opted for ‘Water on’? With the film being 3D, perhaps water spray on 3D glasses may have become a bit of an annoyance, but that wasn’t the case for me.
Before I realised just how sophisticated the seats were, I believed, for a moment, that an unruly audience member was kicking me in the back! The seats’ versatility is impressive. Through a combination of 3 basic movements: Heave (Vertical movement of the seats), Roll (Sideways tilting of the seats) and Pitch (Forward and backward rocking of the seats), they can be programmed to ‘mimic the action on the screen’.
It’s important to note that 4DX comes with certain warnings and restrictions. For instance, it is not suitable for pregnant women or people who suffer from high blood pressure, heart conditions, back or neck conditions. There are height and weight restrictions, and the experience is unsuitable for children under the age of 4. The list in full, is available via the Cineworld website.
Crawley is the third cinema in the UK to recieve the 4DX treatment. With a host of celebrity guests, such as Ella Eyre, Jameela Jamil and Russell Kane, the launch of the first 4DX cinema, in Milton Keynes, attracted the nation’s media. Cineworld then launched a second in Sheffield, before heading south, to West Sussex.
Home cinema installations are fairly commonplace, making it possible to recreate a decent ‘traditional’ cinema experience, in one’s own home. Even the added 3rd dimension has been available for some years. As yet, ‘smell o vision’ and rocking seats, appear not to be in the running for tomorrow’s home viewing. There’s no telling what the future holds for 4DX cinema either, but I’ll hazard a guess that it’s here to stay.