Tech InDepth: Understanding 4DX cinemas ahead of Black Panther, Avatar sequels


Whether you’re new to 4DX cinemas or not, you might be curious as to how these work to provide a movie-watching experience unlike any other. While movies in 4DX often have more expensive tickets, fans will swear by watching visually rich movies in nothing less than 4DX. Many even prefer the same over IMAX 3D.

If you’re thinking of booking some 4DX tickets for yourself and some friends or family members ahead of upcoming movies such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar 2: The Way of Water, here’s a quick look at how 4DX functions in today’s edition of Tech InDepth.

What is 4DX?

4DX is a popular cinema format that lets you enjoy supported movies beyond just the visuals and the sounds. This format targets the fourth dimension, which points to your senses. To this end, 4DX cinema seats are known to use motion, wind, lighting and even simulated scent and snow to offer a unique experience.

These effects work in tandem with the ongoing scene of the movie you’re watching. If you’re watching a scene in the snowy mountains in a 4DX cinema, you can feel the drop in temperature and simulated snowfall in your theatre. On the other hand, when you watch Tom Cruise takeoff with his Darkstar aircraft in Top Gun: Maverick, your seat furiously vibrates and moves around to match the effect.

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4DX was first introduced commercially in 2009, but India didn’t get its first 4DX screen until the end of 2021 at Lulu International Shopping Mall in Kerala which screened Spider-Man: No Way Home in the new format.

The license for the 4DX format is owned by the South Korean cinema chain CJ CGV, which offers this technology in many countries. In India, 4DX screens are offered by PVR Cinemas and Cinépolis, and theatres can be found in major cities like Mumbai, Noida, Chennai, Bangalore and others.

How does 4DX work?

4DX is often mistaken for or compared to IMAX 3D. However, both are vastly different standards. IMAX screens have more to do with the picture quality and the sound, whereas 4DX is more about the seats and practical effects.

4DX cinemas can screen both 2D and 3D movies. If you’re watching a 3D film in a 4DX cinema, you will also be required to wear compatible glasses provided by the cinema hall for the added 3D effects. As per the official description, “4DX incorporates on-screen visuals with synchronised motion seats and environmental effects such as water, wind, fog, scent, snow and more, to enhance the action on-screen”.

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4DX provides up to 21 such unique effects to make movies more immersive than ever. How many of these effects you experience will be determined by the film you’re watching. The most impactful effect of the 4DX arsenal is perhaps the motion of the seats. 4DX seats are equipped with varying speed control and can move in multiple directions to simulate effects like a sudden thrust or tilt. The seats also vibrate precisely to simulate effects like earthquakes or large collisions, ideal for action flicks.

Meanwhile, other effects are controlled by various machinery, all controlled by a centralised mechanism that triggers effects as and when required with respect to the film.

4DX effects and types of 4DX cinemas

There are a total of 21 effects. Check them out in the image below.

4DX, 4DX effects, Here are all the 21 4DX effects. (Image Source: CJ4DX)

However, not all 4DX effects will be available in every 4DX cinema. 4DX cinemas are divided into four categories – 4DX Prime, 4DX Pro, 4DX Standard and 4DX Economy.

With 4DX Prime and 4DX Pro, you will have all the 21 effects, which is why these tickets will also be some of the most expensive ones. Meanwhile, 4DX Pro will feature 12 effects, skipping out effects like Face Air, Air Shots, Rain, Warm Air, Back tickler and Bottom tickler.

4DX Economy is the most affordable experience, incorporating 10 effects including Roll, Pitch, Bottom Shaker, Scents, Rainstorm, Wind, Snow, Lightning, Fog and Bubbles.

How to find a 4DX cinema near you?

To find a 4DX cinema in your city or a nearby city, you can simply use a ticket-booking platform like BookMyShow or Paytm Movies. Select your city on the platform of your choice and when selecting the type of screen, choose 4DX. In India, if you have nearby 4DX cinemas, you should see PVR or Cinépolis cinema pop up.





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