Regal launched its first ScreenX cinema in New York City in September 2018, promising a “premium, panoramic, 270-degree cinema environment that projects films on three walls of the auditorium”.
The New York cinema brought the global footprint of ScreenX theatres to 154 across the 12 countries where this technology is available.
With Western Europe, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, France, and the United States rolling out ScreenX cinemas, we though it must be the next big thing.
We decided to watch a movie in a ScreenX cinema in New York, and the DC Comics superhero film Aquaman would be a great test.
We expected an advanced screen for the 270-degree cinema environment, but to our surprise it looked similar to a normal cinema with speakers in the side and an exit sign in bright red.
It dawned on us that this may not be next big thing in cinematic experiences, but rather a gimmick for which we paid a premium.
Aquaman’s extensive special effects and underwater worlds provided ample opportunities to create an immersive 270-degree experience, but this never happened.
Instead, the projections on the side did not create a true extension of the screen beyond your visual field, but rather an unnecessary distraction from the main screen.
The fact that there was a big, red exit sign and speakers on the side screens did not help to create realistic underwater visuals either.
We often avoid 3D movies because we feel it does not add much value to the experience, but sometimes there are some cool effects with things floating out of the screen.
This is not the case with ScreenX. There are no “wow, this is cool” moments, and at no time do you think it added value to the movie.
So, in short – ScreenX sucks, and it’s not worth paying one cent extra for the experience.
If you are wondering what ScreenX cinemas are all about, here is a video about the technology.
And here is the promo for Aquaman on ScreenX. Don’t be fooled – it is not that cool.