Different Enhanced Screening Audio and Video Theater Experiences

We saw Terminator: Dark Fate in RPX

There are several different, competing movie theater formats, leaving the average moviegoer confused which one does what and what types of movies are best in the format. This post is intended to help cut through the terminology.

Ok, so they confused my wife and I somewhat. Good news! We’ve experienced almost all of them now. Each requires some type of premium ticket price in addition to the regular price. If you are a Regal Unlimited pass member like we are, then it’s like $3-5 per ticket for each movie, depending on the experience.

These are the formats: 3D, IMAX, 4DX, Dolby Cinema, RPX, ScreenX

3D – glasses required. Enhanced scenes with depth and sometimes “in your face” movement. Best movies for 3D are action, sci-fi and horror and any other movie with a lot of movement on screen. Many use the Real 3D black with tinted glasses which aren’t the red and blue cardboard glasses you might remember from the past. Most recent movie we’ve seen in 3D was Gemin Man HFR (60 fps).

IMAX – the largest screen experience currently available. Haven’t seen any IMAX recently, but in the past have watched a few movies in this format.

4DX – interactive, seat movement, air and scents. Best for action movies giving you the sensation you literally in the chase scene. Most recent movie we’ve seen in this format: Rambo: Last Blood 4DX

D-BOX – motion-controlled seating, similar to 4DX but appears to not have the scents or water sensation, and be not as proprietary, whereas 4DX is a Regal-only option (added 3/2/2020)

ScreenX – five projectors are used and intermittently utilize the side walls of theater to extend the screen. For example, if it’s a scene involving a car, you’ll see the side scenery in addition to what’s on the main screen. Most recent movie we’ve seen in this format: Ford v Ferrari.

DRX – Dolby Atmos sound in Galaxy theaters. Proprietary to Galaxy cinemas only? I don’t know (added 3/2/2020)

RPX – A curved slightly smaller screen with specially enhanced audio that moves all around you in seemingly every direction. Most recent movie we’ve seen in this format is Terminator: Dark Fate.

Dolby Cinema – This format primarily available in AMC theaters. We have not tried this format yet, but have read from reviews that it is the most superior theater audio experience available. A “little” better than RPX which is Regal Cinema’s high fidelity audio based on Dolby Atmos.

The following Reddit provides more details on the differences between the various audio formats.

I can’t seem to find anything online reviewing and comparing these premium screenings even tho they are identical competitors. What are the similarities and differences and which one do prefer?

Dolby Cinema vs RPX : movies

How many of the different enhanced experiences have you tried?

First Ever RPX Experience Review Terminator: Dark Fate

10/31/2019 had our first ever Regal RPX with Dolby ATMOS experience

We have been waiting for the right movie to watch in Regal Cinema’s RPX which is their version, if you will, of Dolby Audio called Dolby ATMOS. Last night, 10/31/2019 we caught the 10pm opening of ….

Terminator: Dark Fate ⭐️⭐️½

The Regal RPX experience was fantastic, but the movie we saw in this format? Not so good.

You can click the title to read my review, but the movie itself was, unfortunately, underwhelming. As excited as I was leading up to seeing this movie, I left the theater disappointed.

This post is more about the RPX sound and visuals which were fantastic. Sound was crisp and surrounding. We had almost the dead center seating in the cinema. The screen is large and curved, see picture below:

Inside the Regal RPX theater before the movie started, see the large curved screen

The screen is big and bright, visuals are stunning. There is nothing about the movie we saw that wasn’t visually pleasing. We paid an extra $5.03 each for the privilege of experiencing the RPX.

Was it worth the extra $5? Not really for the movie that we saw, but it would be worth it for a better movie. There was a noticeable difference in the sound, more spatial and more 3D-surround like, but not so much better that we went, oh, man, we have to see every movie we can in RPX.

Upon leaving the theater and recording our “just left the theater video review” (included under the review above) we both agreed that Terminator: Dark Fate would be more fun to see in 4DX like we saw Rambo: Last Blood.

We need to check out the Dolby Audio, because I’ve read good reviews about that format being the best. We have experienced IMAX, although it’s been awhile since seeing any movies in that format. Love the really big screen effect of IMAX, but they only have certain movies showing in that format, typically the tentpole movies only.