Star Wars fans eagerly anticipating today’s release of The Last Jedi will be guaranteed to “Feel the Force” as Edinburgh welcomes its first 4DX cinema experience.
The revolutionary technology stimulates all five senses and includes high-tech motion seats which suddenly lurch up and down and vibrate to synchronise with the high-octane action scenes in the movie which are also matched to a range of special effects.
These include gusts of wind blasting through the cinema, “rain” squirting from the back of the seats in front into audiences’ faces, breezes blowing from the back of the seats and scents, storm lightning, bubbles, mist and snow wafting through the auditorium.
Cineworld in Fountain Park, which unveiled its 4DX screenings in the city yesterday, is showing Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ in 4DX 3D, as well as 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D.
4DX seats are higher off the floor than mainstream seating and come complete with foot-rests. Unlike conventional rows of seats, there are “breaks’ between groups of seats allowing three or four seats to judder and shake while others nearby are just about to go through or finish the same sequence seconds later.
Mark Johnson, Cineworld regional manager, said that a huge amount of research went into working out the special effects for each 4DX movie.
“Code writers work with Hollywood producers and go through each film frame by frame. It means they spend eight to nine weeks in post-production.”
Revolutionary 4DX, considered one of the biggest innovations in cinematic technology, was developed by South Korean company CJ 4DPLEX and publicly unveiled in 2009 with the release of Journey to the Centre of the Earth at the CJ CGV theatre chain in Seoul.
Lindsay Cook, general manager at Cineworld Edinburgh which has 13 screens and a seating capacity of 3,003, said: “We’re really excited to introduce cinema goers to our new 4DX screen. There’s nothing like it and it can only be experienced in the UK at Cineworld.
“There’s a fantastic line-up of movies coming up such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and sequel to family favourite, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which have been perfectly adapted to suit 4DX.”
Cineworld has a total of 14 4DX cinemas in the UK, with another two due to open in the near future.
Lewis MacDonald, 19, an IT worker from Oxgangs in Edinburgh, who attended the Cineworld 4DX launch, said: “It was fantastic. I thought I had seen it all and was expecting to have to knock down all the hype, but it was like nothing I’d ever seen at a cinema before.
“I hope it will get used by more cinemas and bring the prices down. But there are loads of people going to The Last Jedi or other special films and would see it as a treat worth paying for.”
Peak times adult 4DX 3D tickets cost £17.20, a child’s ticket is £13.70, students and seniors pay £14.20 and a family ticket costs £54.80.