4DX with ScreenX

4DX movie theaters haven’t quite taken off in the United States yet, but that’s not stopping 4D company CJ 4DPLEX from plowing ahead with a new innovation. That innovation: 4DX with ScreenX, which turns movie watching into something akin to a wonderful dream or a terrifying nightmare. Take your pick!

Folks, I just don’t know what to make of this. I don’t want to judge something without having tried it, but this looks wild. CJ 4DPLEX is launching something called “4DX with ScreenX”, which combines 4DX tech with ScreenX multi-projection tech. This is being optimistically dubbed “the next revolution of immersive cinema.” The concept will be showcased in the U.S. for the first time at CinemaCon this April. If you can’t travel out to Las Vegas to experience that, there’s a video showcase the 4DX with ScreenX, and it’s terrifying.

4DX with ScreenX

I don’t want to seem like a square, but there’s a part in this video where sirens start going off, smoke starts shooting out of the walls, and the seats start rolling up and down like loose teeth in a diseased mouth. As I watched, I felt like I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. Here’s some quick copy describing what the heck this is:

Set to become the fastest premium format to reach 500 screens in April (just seven months after becoming the fastest to reach 400), 4DX eliminates the boundary between the audience and the film with motion chairs that move in perfect synchronicity with the movie being shown on-screen. The immersive theatre technology, launched by CJ 4DPLEX in 2009, uses effects to simulate wind, water, light, fog, scent and more, making people feel like they’re in the movie.

ScreenX is the world’s first multi-projection theatre technology, created in 2012 by CJ CGV, part of CJ Group, to enhance the movie environment by allowing moviegoers to go beyond the frame of the traditional movie screen. It utilizes a proprietary system to expand images of feature films and pre-show advertising to the left and right walls of the theatre, creating an immersive, panoramic, 270-degree experience. It has been installed in more than 140 auditoriums around the world, including three in the U.S., with more to come this year.

I guess the question you have to ask yourself is: do you want to watch movies like this? There are a few “regular” 4DX theaters scattered across the U.S., but I have yet to experience any of them. That said, I guess I could sort of see the appeal, especially with a big, loud old-school blockbuster like Independence Day or Twister. But this new 4DX with ScreenX, which has images being projected not just in front of you but also on the walls? I don’t think I could handle that. If anything, it would be distracting.

Then again, there’s a part of me that wants to see a regular mid-budget drama projected this way. Imagine watching Michael Clayton as the seats bump up and down and smoke shoots out into your face? Just imagine it.

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