BY BILLY SUTER
THERE was much excitement in Mount Edgecombe, Durban, on September 29, when the eight-cinema Nu Metro complex opened at the new Cornubia Mall – an occasion marked by a free film screenings for the public that day.
I was one of the lucky few given the opportunity to sample the new 4DX cinema for the first time. I saw The Dark Tower, a film which, based on the Stephen King novel, was shot in South Africa.
The film, about a gunslinger on a quest to protect the Dark Tower – a mythical structure which supports all realities – wasn’t particularly memorable, but the extreme experience was certainly interesting.
In plush red chairs that move, shake and gently sway left or right to match on-screen antics, one is treated to a multi-sensory experience that includes environmental effects, including wind, water, scents, lightning and fog.
Fun for a while but, for my tired bones, a little frustrating after an hour or so – lots of jostling about, popcorn flying every now and then… LOL. But I am sure the youngsters will love it.
The Xtreme cinema at Cornubia Mall marks the sixth of these fully immersive cinema formats in South Africa – simply summed up as “big screens, big sound, best digital quality”. KwaZulu-Natal now has two luxury 4DX cinemas – the other having opened last year at Nu Metro at The Pavilion in Westville.
Good news is that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will release at all Nu Metro cineplexes nationwide on December 15 – including Nu Metro’s 4DX and fully immersive Xtreme theatres. Bookings are now open.
Nu Metro opened Africa’s first 4DX theatre at Nu Metro V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in December 2015.
In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. JJ Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers.
With 4DX at Nu Metro, cinemagoers can feel the wind in their hair, they can feel sprays of water or blasts of air during sudden, unexpected action scenes; and they can smell the scent of the scenes on-screen – and be taken on an inter-galactic journey like no other.
Movies are now no longer bound by their visual and aural limits. 4DX is the next step in the movie-going evolution, taking audiences on a journey into the full feature film.
Find 4DX at Nu Metro V&A Waterfront (Cape Town), The Pavilion (Durban), Menlyn Park (Pretoria), Hyde Park Corner (Johannesburg), Emperors Palace (Johannesburg) and the recently opened Cornubia Mall (Umhlanga/Mount Edgecombe).
Sound in Xtreme cinemas includes overhead speakers and a large array of speakers placed strategically throughout the cinema – a vast improvement on the limitations of traditional cinema sound, moving past the confines of “stereo” or “surround sound channels” /Dolby Atmos delivers full all-around sound in the Xtreme cinemas at Nu Metro; sound objects can literally be moved around in 3D space.