UK’s first 4D cinema experience
The first audible “oh!” came less than a minute in. On screen, an aerial battle was raging above the planet Barsoom, and in the middle of screen 11 at Cineworld in Glasgow, city centre Alana Porter and her 12-year-old son, Nathan, were shaking in their seats.
The pair were among a small group of movie buffs to try out what is claimed to be the UK’s first 4D cinema experience, at a screening of the Disney action film John Carter.
Thirty-five of the shifting and vibrating D-BOX seats have been fitted in the Glasgow cinema, the UK’s busiest. Five more British cinemas will get the technology in coming months, including the O2 Greenwich, and 24 more at a later stage.
“At first, I thought, ooh, what’s coming next?” said Porter. “But it does help you feel part of the action.”
It’s not the first time the film industry has experimented with an extra dimension. Scent and motion have been used, with limited success, to heighten cinemagoers’ experiences since the 30s. In 1959, the director William Castle used vibrating devices in cinema seats for his horror film The Tingler and in 1981 John Waters used scratch-and-sniff cards for his “Odorama” comedy, Polyester.
The UK launch of the 4D seat comes in the same week a report said 3D may be losing its lustre, with box office receipts down on previous years.
But Matt Eyre, Cineworld’s vice president of operations, says 3D is here to stay and claims 4D seats are not a gimmick but a logical progression.
“This is the next step. I think filmgoers are always looking for that little bit extra.”
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