The 4D Movie Experience

Well, I last weekend I got to experience my first 4D movie outside of Disney World. Typically to get this experience, I head through the Mouse’s gates to shows such as It’s Tough to be a Bug in Animal Kingdom, Star Tours in Hollywood Studios, or the, now deceased, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, in Epcot. I haven’t actually heard of or been to a 4D theater outside of a theme park in the states, but they have one here in Kuwait.

The theater I attended was at the Hamra Mall in Kuwait City at the Grand Cinema theaters.

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Outside an entrance to the Mall where you can find the “I <3 Kuwait” sign.
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Inside the mall where a display features a photo of Kuwait’s Emir.
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The theaters make up the entire top floor of the mall.

The theater has both regular and 4D movies available. In the 4D theaters, the regular movie plays (albeit censored here a little due to romantic content, aka no kissing) and there are added effects such as bubbles, smoke, scents, seat movements, strobe lights, and water that make the experience more interactive. My friends and I went to see The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds (be still my heart) and Samuel L. Jackson (be still or you’ll get shot).

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Now, I must say an action movie is an interesting way to experience this for the first time. Tickets cost 8 KD (Kuwaiti Dinar), $26.57 US dollars with the current exchange rate, and this includes bottled water and a hot dog. Not included was the caramel popcorn I also got because I was letting my stomach do the talking.

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My stomach wanted all of this.

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There is an usher at the front of the theater that guides you to the seats you selected.  The seats are a bit far off the ground so my 5 foot 3 inch self had to hop a bit to get into my seat. They were comfy, though I learned early on that the seats moved like they were in a simulator so holding tight to your popcorn is a must. Now for the side effects. Anytime a character is in a helicopter or a vehicle of any kind, your seat moves as if you are being transported with them. If the road is bumpy, you go up and down too. I also learned that anytime a character is, say, shot in the head, you get a blast of air to the face with a splash of water. So, yeah. That took me by surprise as being shot in the face wasn’t an experience I hoped to have. Still, it was painless. Adding to that sentiment was that every time a character falls or is thrown into something, you get prodded from the back and bottom of the chair. Gently shoved if you will. Think a massage chair on steroids. The pressure on the back I didn’t mind so much, but it was strange to get butt-punched frequently over the course of two hours.

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The water effects were cool when they weren’t mimicking blood and the smoke was awesome too. That combined with strobe lights made for some pretty interactive battle scenes. The only thing missing were the bubbles (guess they weren’t applicable to the movie) and a meet and greet with the star Ryan Reynolds. I could have died happy with that last one.

I would give the experience overall an A rating despite the fact that seat belts probably should have been included. It was fun, interactive, and at times uncomfortable, but delightfully so. Plus this kind of experience would keep my mom awake in a movie theater for once, which is no small feat. We’ll make this stop one when they come to visit.

Maybe next time I’ll go see something a little tamer though. Something with bubbles.

 

For more information on the experience and location of the theater in Kuwait, check it out here.

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