On 16 December 2015 the first 4DX cinema in Africa, housed at Nu Metro V&A
Waterfront in Cape Town, opened its doors to the public.
Africa’s very first 4DX cinema comes as the direct result of a partnership between
Nu Metro Cinemas and ACJ 4DPLEX – the creators of 4DX. The partnership promises
to ensure the successful rollout of 182 4DX auditoriums across 34 countries.
4DX is a multi-sensory, digital 4D movie experience which stimulates all five senses
using motion, vibration, water, wind, lighting and multiple scents to provide
moviegoers with the ultimate immersive cinema experience.
Nitesh Matai, Nu Metro Cinemas’ general manager, says that implementing 4DX at
Nu Metro Cinemas was initially considered about two years ago, but plans only fully
materialised a year ago. “It is a strategic move, fitting our commitment to
supplying customers with a fully immersive cinema experience by utilising the best,
most up-to-date, world-class technology,’ Matai explains.
Nu Metro Cinemas’ head of technical, Johan van Staden, was sent to Seoul, South
Korea, for three weeks specifically to train for certified status to manage the
installation of the 4DX technology locally. “The complete installation was completed
by South African contractors and Nu Metro’s Technical department. CJ 4DPLEX
supervised the final settings and did the final testing before signing off on the
installation,’ says Matai.
The films screened in 4DX are projected in HD/2D and Digital 3D on a silver, curved
wall-to-wall screen (9.7m wide x 5.2m high). Its audio system has been upgraded
to a Dolby CP750 with 7.1 full surround sound. The Barco projector used in the 4DX
cinema now also uses an upgraded lamp for brighter picture in both 2D and 3D.
4DX has the following effects: motion, wind, water, a range of 11 scents, smoke,
lighting, bubbles, vibration and leg ticklers. Van Staden says that the
movement/vibration is so specialised and sensitive that the system can even
simulate the sense of flying through the air.
“All the effects on the 4DX system work off a LTC (Linear Time Code) from a motion
PC, the effect is triggered by the LTC and then gets sent to the equipment via a
normal RMX signal,’ explains van Staden. “The equipment gets a pulse via the
LTC/RMX with the duration and intensity needed, pre-programmed in the motion file
for the movie. The codes/motion film are supplied via 4DX head office – which in
turn are produced by CJ 4DPLEX in tandem with the film studio and
Matai confirms that the opening of the first 4DX cinema on the continent, at Nu
Metro V&A Waterfront, has been a phenomenal success: “It has achieved sold out-
status for most shows since inception. We are right on target to achieve our targets
for revenue and return on investment!’
By Chanelle Ellaya