4DX Theaters

Josh Steinberg

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Jun 10, 2003
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Josh Steinberg
NYC got it in 2016, and I tried it twice.

Quick impressions:
- The pricing was outrageous. $28 a ticket, I think it's gone up again since then. So you really have to want to do it, it's not a great choice for a whim (or for right after eating!)
- The programming of the seat movement changes for each movie. I saw two different movies, and I thought one was a horrible experience, and one was pretty decent. For "X-Men: Apocalypse" it was as if they thought we needed something at every moment of the film, so for the entire 2 1/2 hour running time, the chairs were constantly wiggling, shaking, vibrating, throwing air and water and wind effects at us, etc., etc. It was fun for the first few minutes, but it was just so over the top that it quickly lost its appeal. On the other hand, I later saw "Star Trek Beyond" there and it was programmed much better, where they didn't feel the need to have the chairs moving and doing stuff every second. They picked moments where the movement and effects matched what was happening onscreen, and that worked a lot better. Unfortunately, there's no way to know in advance how good or bad the experience for each movie is going to be.
- A lot of the stuff happening ends up distracting you from the movie. If they use a lightning effect, for instance, the room becomes so bright that you can't see what's onscreen in that second. If they use a thunder effect, you'll lose a line of dialogue. So I found it much more enjoyable as a second viewing for Star Trek Beyond than as a first viewing for X-Men Apocalypse.
- At the theater I attended, the 4DX was installed in one of the auditoriums with a smaller screen, and a smaller sound system. I felt this would have been more effective in an auditorium with a truly giant screen and more immersive audio.
- It can be fun, but it's not essential.
 

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