Toho Cinemas is found all over Japan, is well known for showing the latest in movie experiences. All the new releases go through this theater. However, the one in Roppongi Hills has them all beat. All the famous movie stars from Gerard Butler to even Tom Cruise has stopped by to promote their movies there. The myriad of options of movie watching are endless! From the regular movies, to surround sound to even 3D. However, the latest craze, 4D, is also available here and made us wonder if it was worth spending the extra money. It turns out that instead of the usual 3D, the 4D theater experience combines actual physical effects for a more complete movie watching experience. Initially used in theme parks, it has since expanded in Japan. There are multiple layers to the 4D world as noted below:
Usually located in the front of the seat – provides an atmospheric effect that matches to the action on the screen. Great for movies with water effects or at one particular movie when someone sneezes and you feel the spray.
Provides multiple effects from bubbles, smoke, fog mist, snow, water spray and even scents! At one movie while the lead actor was strolling through grass, we could smell the actual grass at the same time. Or the smell of burning rubber during a car chase action sequence.
Creates feeling of intensity from use of powerful subwoofers under the chair cushions. The intensity can be modulated depending on the intensity of the on-screen action
This one is quite effective during scary movies – one could feel like rodents were actually running thru your legs while sitting in the theater!
This one was strange, even with the 4D glasses was not one of my favorites. My seatmate even got dizzy from them. It was effective during a particular lighting sequence though.
Exactly what it sounds like – usually during fight scenes, car chases and most action shots. One can really feel like they are part of the action.
When you combine all of the above – for example during a rainy fight scene, you can feel your chair getting “punched” when the actor does, or even “blood” spray on you, while smelling the saltiness of the sea, feeling the wind blast hit your face while the strobe mimics lightning. There is nothing like it! The only drawback is the cost, though one could pay as much for seeing a play or opera. However, this is not for the easily motion sick or those with medical conditions (as strobe lights can sometimes induce seizures).
But if you are in for it, feel free to stop by your closest Toho Cinema for an unforgettable movie viewing experience!!
Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills*Automatic translation