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Cineworld reopens today with immersive ‘4DX’ screenings

Cineworld is reopening in England today following the coronavirus lockdown with the first-ever 4DX screenings of two Harry Potter films and Jurassic Park. 

The 4DX film experience combines multi-sensory effects including faint water and wind jets, scents and lighting, as well as motion effects, including seat movements. 

These immersive techniques are all ‘timed to precision’ to enhance what’s on screen and ‘put audiences inside the movie’.  

English cinema-goers will be able to enjoy the second and third films in Harry Potter series – the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban – for the first time in 4DX at Cineworld. 

They’ll also be able to feel their seats shudder with the stomp of the dinosaurs while watching Jurassic Park, and feel the shake of buildings crashing down around them during screenings of the 2010 epic Inception, which start in August. 

First adopted in South Korea in 2012, 4DX is the latest attempt by cinema operators to attract film viewers amid the growing popularity of online subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

The standard is designed to give paying audiences an experience they would never get sitting in front of their TVs at home.

Rather like the immersive 3D ‘rollercoaster’ rides at theme parks and museums, 4DX moves viewers around in their seats in time with the action on the screen. 

4DX is usually available in both 2D and 3D formats, meaning audiences can opt to enjoy the immersive effects while wearing 3D glasses.

However, Cineworld’s 4DX screenings that kick off today are in 2D and don’t require glasses. 

To coincide with Harry Potter’s birthday today, two Harry Potter films are at the top of Cineworld’s billing – the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The first film in the series – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – was already released in 4DX at Cineworld before the lockdown and will also continue to be screened in 4DX from today. 

During the Harry Potter screenings, audiences will feel the wind blast past them as Harry fends of the ghostly, soul-sucking dementors. 

‘Soar with Harry and Ron as they fly a magical flying car toward Hogwarts to start their second year at the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry,’ Cineworld said in a statement. 

‘Feel the jolt as Harry and Malfoy finally duel for the first time and get ready for water as Harry, Ron and Hermione enter the depths of the Chamber of Secrets.’  

While watching Christopher Nolan’s 2010 reality-bending epic Inception, viewers will feel ‘every twist, crash and splash’ as the Paris landscape folds over itself. 

‘Feel the shake of buildings crashing down around you, the wind in your hair as though you’re falling, and your chair tilt as if you’re modulating gravity,’ Cineworld said. 

Inception will be shown at Cineworld from a slightly later date than the other three films – August 16 – but the film will provides an ‘ideal taster’ for Nolan’s next blockbuster, Tenet.

The spy thriller is finally being released in 4DX and standard formats on August 26, after being delayed three times due to Covid-19.

As for the 1993 classic Jurassic Park, audiences will be able to feel their seat shudder as they come face to face with deadly free-roaming dinosaurs.  

The 4DX screenings will be available at 24 Cineworld branches across England, including five London locations – the O2, Leicester Square, Wandsworth, Wembley and Enfield – Birmingham Broad Street, Newcastle, Plymouth and Sheffield. 

Prices for the four films will vary depending on location, ranging from £9.70 to £11.70 for an adult ticket for a single film.

In the London Leicester Square branch, however, prices will stretch to £14.50 for an adult and £10.50 for a child per film. 

Cineworld closed its UK branches on March 18 due to the coronavirus.

‘We are committed to providing safe and healthy environments for our employees and guests and have therefore made the difficult decision to close our cinemas in UK and Ireland until further notice,’ it said in a statement at the time.

With the reopening of its English branches today, the chain has installed a number of safety measures, including spacing between families of different households and hand sanitisers in foyers.

Staff have also received protective personal equipment (PPE) and will be separated from customers by plastic screens in some areas.      

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