A trip to the movie theater can be just as much of a getaway from a holiday vacation as it is from everyday life, and, by its nature, the City Beautiful has many wonderful choices to take in a film, whether it be modern or vintage. Among my personal favorites is Regal Cinemas Pointe Orlando Stadium 20 & Imax.
Why? For starters, it’s located within the Pointe Orlando shopping and entertainment complex. While this makes it convenient to the other International Drive attractions (such as WonderWorks), it also has its own plethora of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. This makes it easy to see a movie and enjoy the rest of the day or night out with friends and loved ones.
While there is a fee-to-use Pointe Orlando parking garage, the theater will validate it at one of their self-serve kiosks when you see one of their movies (pro tip: park on the third level for the most convenient path to the theater). A great feature when purchasing your movie tickets is the choice of either selecting the specific seats you’d like within the auditorium or simply leaving it to the system to choose from the “best available” options.
But my favorite draw about Regal Pointe Orlando is, given the aforementioned location, there are rarely ever any crowds. For instance, I recently attended a 6:00 pm showing of Aquaman, which normally spells disaster in the form of a packed theater (this being a major new release and all). To our delight, when my fiance and I entered the auditorium, we noticed there were only three other couples at that showing. This was essentially the same for every other movie there, and it made it seem like it was our own private viewing of the feature!
An additional fact about Regal is that it’s a traditional Imax theater. I use the term “traditional” here because, as opposed to other theaters in one way or another claiming the Imax name in the past, the two Regal theaters in Orlando hold the city’s two full-size, true Imax screens – a fact which not only sets them apart, but which can be verified on the Imax website. Let me tell you, these suckers are huge.
But, at the same time, it’s worth noting the industry’s progress since Imax stepped to the forefront of the movie-going experience; over time, there have been improvements made in both film production and projector quality that is causing many theaters to move away from the Imax brand (like what we see with Cinemark’s XD technology). So, what would the next step in cinematic immersion be? This, faithful readers, is where the 4DX theater, Regal Pointe Orlando’s newest addition, comes in and what allows it to stand above the rest!
Keeping it simple, 4DX combines simulation technologies similar to Shrek 4D or It’s Tough to Be a Bug with mainstream movies. Each state-of-the-art theater is outfitted with elemental additions (such as wind, snow, lightning flashes, and, even, rainstorms), and the seats themselves are also equipped with their own special effects (including air jets, hydraulics, motion technology, and leg ticklers), all of which interact wonderfully with the film – and which we’ll get to in just a moment.
Before I move onto the actual 4DX movie experience, though, it should just be clarified that, as a comic geek, I’ve never been a fan of Aquaman; I only went because the fiance and I wanted to see what a 4DX movie was like. Believe me when I tell you that, my opinion on the flick itself aside, I am sold on 4DX as part of the experience! Allow me to paint you a picture as to why.
Imagine, if you will, feeling the impact from every exchanged blow between your hero and his several adversaries, as if you were fighting right there alongside him. Suddenly, there’s a quake mid-battle from an explosion as another enemy barrels into the fray. Picture feeling the force of Aquaman propel himself through the water while your seat allows you to flow deftly through each scene with him. During a part of the film in which the characters are lost at sea and caught in an insane thunderstorm, it is as if you’re with them in the thick of it as you feel the waves crashing into the boat, the fury of the wind whipping through your hair, and the rain falling in the theater! The 4DX theater allows you to experience everything even more acutely, whether they be intense scenes, like the ones I just described, or gentle ones, such as the snow globe sequence you may know from the trailer (which causes “snow” to actually fall on you).
Words can only do so much justice for this experience that is well worth the $26 price. If it seems like I’m describing a theme-park simulator, just minus the $100 ticket and placed inside your local theater, that is exactly the point! This is why I am a fan of the 4DX technology. I used Aquaman to convey my experience, but imagine what this tech could bring to other movies – instead of smelling the salt of the ocean, the audience could take in the scent of the earth and the foliage of a fantastic forest. Fans of car chases and shootouts, such as the Fast & Furious franchise, would have a blast feeling every drifting car twist, the powerful rumble of the engines, and bursting torrents of bullets whizzing by your head. I dare even say, this is the difference between a “movie experience” and “experiencing the movies.”
Regal Cinemas Pointe Orlando Stadium 20 & Imax has shown me the future of cinema, and I cannot experience it any other way.
What’s your favorite place to catch a flick while on your Orlando vacation? Let us know in our OI Community Facebook group.