New cinemas at Bonifacio High Street: 4DX experience

Paul John Caña

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New cinemas at Bonifacio High Street: 4DX experience
How much it'll cost you, where exactly it's located, and what to expect from the experience

The seats move with the action onscreen. When Spiderman swings from skyscraper to skyscraper, audiences feel like they’re flying and falling, too. There is actual smoke and mist in the theater when police cars crash into an armored van in the streets of New York.  

This is 4DX technology, and it’s in the Philippines for the first time. Ayala Cinemas opened the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas on April 30 with the latest installment of the blockbuster superhero series, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Where you’ll find it: The four-theater cinemas are located at the new Central Square, the newest four-story retail space at Bonifacio High Street Central. It is adjacent to the BHS Central Plaza, near Stella and Rocket Room. Not much else is open (although expect the country’s first Pottery Barn here later this year), but the cinemas are more than enough reason to visit. 

Beyond just sight: Developed by South Korean company CJ 4DPlex, the 4D theater features “precise choreography of motion system and environmental effects,” which basically means that whatever action onscreen will be replicated in real life (or at least, as close to the real thing as possible).

The state-of-the-art 4DX motion chairs are able to move a variety of ways that allows audiences to feel like they’re part of the movie they are watching. Perhaps the closest example I can think of is the Shrek 4D adventure attraction at Universal Studios Singapore.

Besides the moving seats, the technology has other features that engage viewers’ senses beyond sight, including mist and light rain, smoke and fog a gentle breeze, and even a flash of lighting.

USE ALL SENSES. Take care, though. If you're prone to dizziness or vertigo, you may want to consider other optinos, too

The experience: They couldn’t have picked a better movie to premiere this new theater experience with than The Amazing Spiderman 2. Filled with tense action sequences, the film benefits heavily from 4DX technology. It’s almost like an amusement park thrill ride. 

A friend commented that this experience is to film what color was to black and white TV. Audiences with vertigo or those who easily get dizzy or queasy might find the viewing experience a bit too much, however, so they can choose to sit this one out and watch in the regular cinemas with stationary chairs.

The rest of the theaters: Of the four theaters at the new BHS Cinemas, only one is equipped with 4DX technology. However, two are equipped with Dolby Atmos, a “proprietary surround sound system augmented with front and ceiling-mounted speakers.” It’s revolutionary technology in sound that makes it possible to enjoy crystal clear audio along with the picture.

While the theaters only officially opened today, audiences have been lining up since yesterday to book tickets to see The Amazing Spiderman 2 throughout the weekend. If you’re a hardcore movie freak looking for something new, you’ll probably want to experience this. 

The technology is new here, so understandably, people are going to want to try it out. However, we may have to wait a while to find out if audiences will continue to patronize the next generation type of viewing or if the standard 2d and 3d experience will suffice.

4DX. It's the first of this kind in the Philippines, but a ticket will run you P450. Worth it?

What it’ll cost you: A movie at the BHS Cinema with 4dX technology will set you back P450 (about $10). There is a cinema with recliner seats that costs P400 (about $9), while the regular cinemas will run you P250 (about $5.6). Some concession stands are already open, so people can get movie treats from places like Potato Corner, Krispy Kreme, and Family Mart, among others. –

Paul John Caña is the managing editor of Lifestyle Asia magazine and is a live music geek. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @pauljohncana

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