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4DX makes it Southeast debut at Regal Pointe Orlando with Kong: Skull Island

Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 11:01 am

By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

Your Central Florida movie forecast: Bring an umbrella, there is a 100 percent chance of showers.

Rain at the movies? You bet, as well as snow, fog, wind and more. It is all part of the first 4DX theater in the Southeast, which premiered late last week at the Regal Pointe Orlando.

If you like a completely immersive, rockin’ movie experience, one that even goes beyond 3D, 4DX is the way to go to.

A media sneak peek at the technology, featured Kong: Skull Island, just prior to its official opening. Kong: Skull Island is the perfect kind of film to experience the technology, new to Central Florida.

Raindrops will fall on your head as you experience the monsoonal weather of Vietnam and you will need to hang on tight as the mighty Kong swats helicopters to the ground like pesky flies in this exciting adventure film.

“We are extremely excited to bring this immersive experience to Florida,” said Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer at Regal Entertainment Group. “Orlando is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and the 4DX auditorium will be a great addition to our Pointe Orlando Theatre.”

“As our partnership with Regal Entertainment Group continues to expand, we are thrilled to be bringing 4DX to audiences in one of Central Florida’s most popular theaters,” said Brandon Choi, chief operating officer at CJ 4DPlex Americas.

4DX is pretty exciting stuff and our sneak preview wasn’t even in 3D, but 4DX screenings are now available in 3D at the I-Drive theater as well.

4DX, as you might expect, is a complex technology, and while new, “tentpole” films will feature it in Orlando and other 4DX locations worldwide, just about any film can be retrofitted with the technology.

The process involves a virtual frame-by-frame reedit of the film, said Jane Lee, associate marketing with CJ 4DPlex America. The 4DX team adds computer code to the film, so when you watch it from your rocking seat, the seat will be synchronized to move around at the right moments, as well add rain, snow, wind, smoke, fog and more.

With Kong, it can be a pretty rough ride, a few of the seats actually have seat belts, though the average user really won’t need them.

While the technology is similar to what you might find at Universal or Disney, the great bonus here is it is a big box office feature film.

Pointe Orlando is the seventh location in the United States to feature 4DX technology and the fourth Regal Cinemas location. The theater had to be retrofitted for all of the simulated action, including water, smoke, lightning, wind, motion and scents effects.

Previous films that screened in 4DX over the past year include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

One of the big omissions with 4DX, at least in the U.S. is blasts of heat, and with a film like Kong: Skull Island, it really is needed. There are lots of fireballs, flames, flamethrowers and the like as the military does battle with Kong and the many not-so-friendly giant inhabitants on the island.

That technology already is in place in Japan, 4DX officials said, so it is only a matter of time before theaters here feature it as well.

Of course, technology comes with a price. According to the Fandango website, adult tickets with 3D 4DX are $21.18.

Note: While there is a parking charge at Pointe Orlando, movie patrons can have their tickets validated at the theater lobby.

As for the movie itself, Kong: Skull Island is worth the ride, even without the technological enhancements. The film is more than a bit Apocalypse Now, with its Vietnam era story as the military and some expeditioners go to the uncharted island and discover Kong and a whole lot more.

The action is non-stop and features a story that doesn’t bog down the adventure.

The film stars Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman and most especially, John C. Reilly as a serviceman who has been marooned on the island since World War II.

It is rated PG and has a running time of 120 minutes.