It’s an amazing (if increasingly expensive) time to be a downtown cinefile, folks. First the East Village’s AMC got recliners, then Metrograph opened on the Lower East Side, and now the news that’s really going to knock you off your feet: 4DX, the South Korean technology that causes your seat to buck and sway with the action, is finally, finally set to debut at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14. The first film to use the technology in New York City, Batman v. Superman, opens March 25. A second auditorium will open in Times Square in April.
Let’s not forget: this goes beyond just hydraulic seats that pitch you forward mechanical-bull-style every time Superman takes a nose dive or sideways every time he dodges a meteor. Scents piped into the theater will presumably reproduce the smell of Clark Kent’s cologne while puffs of water from the seat in front of you will likely simulate the feeling of being spritzed with it. (Sorry, all of my Superman references are from the ’80s. You expect me to watch a Superman movie as a grown man? Actually, with 4DX in play, I just might.) To get an idea of what the 4DX experience is like, read our writeup of a Star Wars screening in Bogota. As noted when we broke news of 4DX’s arrival (originally expected by the end of 2015), the technology even shows you what it’s like to be pissed on by a monkey.
The 4DX auditorium at Union Square will be followed by the opening, on April 28, of another at the Regal E-Walk 13, in Times Square. They’re just the third and fourth in the nation to undergo the costly conversion to 4DX, which exists in some 228 theaters in 37 countries. The first US auditorium opened in Los Angeles in 2014 and generated $1.7 million in revenue, triple that of the previous year.
You’re probably wondering how much tickets will cost. That’s still uncertain, according to a spokesperson for CJ 4DPLEX. Last time we checked, 4DX tickets in Los Angeles were $16. It’s safe to assume they’ll cost more than that at Regal Union Square, where regular tickets are $15.60 to begin with. One word: brace!