In the larger Thai cities, some movie theaters are still the cinema palaces they used to be in the West. They also offer more viewing experiences than I am used to in the Belgium: regular, VIP, 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D and 4DX. As my girlfriend and I are quite fond of going to the movies, we’ve regularly used all options, except for one: 4DX. Time to strike the last one from the list.
4DX is a South Korean technology that adds an additional sensory experience to a 3D screen (so yes, you need glasses). The seats are mounted on an animated base, that is able to move and produce vibrations. Many appliances are visibly mounted to the ceiling.
Once the pre-movie shorts start, the 4DX system is started unexpectedly during a car chase scene. I have to admit that I did not see it coming. During the movie, the seat moves according to what happens on the screen. Whenever appropriate, one experiences wind, vibration and even smell. Smell is very limited however, as the only scent I experienced was something minty.
The biggest surprising I found to be the snow and smoke that came down from the ceiling.
In general, I did like the experience, even when it was a bit much. The seat doesn’t need to move to just about anything. I would not recommend to watch any movie with this option. In my opinion, it should be used much more sparingly.
In time, it might be nice to have the technology built into all theaters, if it is used for subtle accents.