Curiosity was an indigestible ball in the stomach and a certain dryness in the throat as I settled in a red velveteen seat at Vox Cinema’s 4DX-enabled theatre at Deira City Centre on Tuesday evening and braced myself for a multi-sensory experience ahead of its launch this Thursday.
The movie was Thor: The Dark World and I was the only spectator in the entire theatre. So I can tell you without a whiff of embarrassment that my nerves were more frayed than the mighty Thor himself as he faced Dark Elf Malekith, out to destroy our universe with a weapon known as the Aether.
Gingerly, I put on my 3D glasses and extended my leg on a special footrest. Within seconds I found myself tagging along Thor’s girlfriend Jade Foster who had transported into another realm after coming into contact with Aether.
Left and right and back and forth my seat swayed, gently first, and then in violent shudders as the action picked up on the screen.
As if on cue, powerful fans hidden somewhere behind the headrest too joined in, blasting gales of wind at my face.
If that was not crazy enough, belligerent jet sprays of water opened up from a small orifice in the back of the seat in front of me. Mercifully, there’s a switch on the arm rest to turn it off.
Cleverly concealed fog machines and precisely timed strobe lights added to the drama.
I was told various scents were programmed to waft under my nose, but I couldn’t smell anything because of my chronic sinusitis, I guess.
“The launch of 4DX in the UAE is absolutely ground-breaking - movie-goers in the region will have never experienced anything like this before,” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas.
I can’t agree more. It was indeed a fantastic experience, though I reckon it would have been nicer if the special effects were used sparingly.
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