Film writer Bea Harvie finds out whether Cineworld’s new 4DX experience is as revolutionary as they claim…

Written by Bea Harvie
MA English Language and Applied Linguistics student, fourth year at the good old UoB. Dancer, reader, avid film and tv watcher and theatre goer. I honestly just roll with it!

Did you know, Birmingham Cineworld has recently finished installing a state of the art 4DX screen at their Broad Street Cineplex. I was a little unsure as to what 4DX was beyond the adverts, so I thought a little trip to investigate (perfectly coinciding with the release of Marvel’s Doctor Strange) was in order.

4DX is an innovative new all-immersive cinema experience designed to incorporate all five senses for a full sensory experience. Devolved in South Korea by the CJ conglomerate and currently being installed in the big Cineplex’s, 4DX might be the most awesome cinematic development to date. Cineworld call the 4DX experience “revolutionaryand while it probably isn’t going to overthrow the bourgeoisie any time soon, it is pretty cool.

Students may blanche a little at the extra price of the tickets at £13 for a student, and ask if the extra cost is worth it. Even with my Unlimited card, the tickets cost £6, however, by Merlin, I think it was worth it! When you get to the cinema, remember to take 3D glasses with you to save a quid, and don’t take hot drinks in because they will promptly send you out to drink it before the film starts. The seats are arranged in groups of 4, and shift a bit when you sit down. However, when the movie starts, and the 3D screen switches on – the seats don’t just vibrate or jiggle around a bit. No, you get tilted, tossed, thrown back (if someone breaks too hard), vibrations; it rains in the cinema, the wind blows (long hair peeps, take a hairband) and although I didn’t smell anything due to a blocked nose, the adverts say that scents are released into the screen as well.

I went to see Doctor Strange; a trippy, intense movie anyway – being in the 4DX was completely immersive, I mean, there was one point where there is some sort of psychedelic acid trip roller-coaster, which would have been intense in 3D alone, but the whole time the chairs are lurching and the wind is throwing your (untied – fool) hair around. I wouldn’t recommend if you are easily prone to motion sickness, put it that way! Doctor Strange was amazing, and being in the 4DX screen was also amazing and made for a pretty awesome Friday night.

So we had an awesome movie, and unlike when 3D first became a thing and only the title was 3D, this was genuinely an awesome experience! At present, in Birmingham you can book tickets for Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I am already booking tickets for Fantastic Beasts because 4DX is amazing.

We are incredibly lucky to be one of eight Cineworld complexes across the UK to have the 4DX screens, and I would highly recommend seeing something in 4D at some point. I, personally, am looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 should it be in 4DX, because if Doctor Strange was anything to go by, it will be immense!