Movie theater visitors in Los Angeles: prepare to be thrown around, blasted with air, and sprayed in the face with a fine mist. South Korean company CJ Group's '4DX' movie technology — in which 3D film showings are augmented with wind, light, fog, water, and scent effects — is coming to a US theater for the first time this summer.
The technology will be installed at Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14 in downtown Los Angeles. 4DX technology is already present in theaters in other countries, including Taiwan, Bulgaria, Colombia, and its native South Korea, at a cost of between $1.5 and $2 million per venue. Visiting a theater boasting the technology in Nagoya, Japan, The Verge's Sam Byford said that although his viewing of Iron Man 3 was occasionally improved by the technology, most of the time it felt gimmicky or distracting.
4DX technology occasionally improves screenings, but can be distracting
In addition to being squirted with water and blanketed in fog, visitors to the 4DX-outfitted theater will be wiggled around in their seats by motors inside their chairs: a disconcerting effect that means that although the action happens in front of the viewer, they're being insistently prodded in the back. Ticket prices, and the movies to be screened at the first US-based 4DX theater, are yet to be decided.