Forget IMAX and 3-D: Could D-Box Seating Be The Future of Cinema??


With all the debate over the validity of 3-D in film and whether or not it’s worth the extra money to see movies on a giant IMAX screen, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more discussion about another immersive movie theatre gimmick: the D-Box Motion System. If you’re like me, you may have heard of it and seen it listed as an option on some DVD and Blu-rays, but never really knew what it was. D-Box is a technology that allows movies and video games to to interact with special seating devices that move and shake to make you feel like you’re a part of the action. You’ve probably seen similar things used in amusement parks before, but this technology is apparently much more precise — and it’s coming to your home or local movie theatre!

The first movie to support D-Box on the big screen was Fast & Furious, followed by Terminator Salvation, and now Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will follow suit. Clearly you’ll never look at a Quidditch match the same way again. Currently, there are only a couple of theatres in North America outfitted with the technology for it including Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, but now Canada has its first installation at the Cineplex Odeon Queensway in Etobicoke. It costs about $7 extra for the D-Box experience, but what I want to know is, has anyone actually tried this either at home or in a theatre? Does it seem worthwhile and can you see it catching on? I can’t help but roll my eyes at the thought of another gimmick like this, but on the other hand, I guess if a select group of people want to pay for the extra thrill, more power to ‘em. Thoughts?

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  • Neil M

    Hmm…maybe I’ll head over to Etobicoke and give this a try. I’ve never even heard about it until now.

  • Damndirtyape

    Don’t think this will go anywhere.

    Anyone remember Sensurround?

  • BigHungry

    So… Does anyone even know someone that has dbox at home?

  • Why can’t movies just be movies, you know, put all your energy in to writing a really good script and not worry about trying to make a crap movie into an ‘experience’…

  • the man

    Can you imagine what the ass rape scene in Deliverance and Pulp Fiction will feel like with this thing? I’m sure some of you can. I’m looking at you Greg

  • Pr1mal

    They say it’s debut was in 2008 and I haven’t heard any theaters in southern cali offering this gimmick. Those 1-sentence written temtimonials really make you wanna experience this, eh?

    Having leather/vinyl and adding recline to theater chairs as a standard in the last decade has been the best thing added to the movie going experience. If we are talking about luxury seating I still wouldn’t want this. Some theaters here like the Landmark have loveseat sofas for 2 which are kinda neat, but still, your watching with a bunch of other people.

    If there is one thing I’d like more of in a theater is to have more legroom. Not just room for me, but for all the douches walking down the rows to have to go to the restroom/getting snacks/answering their cells and whatever else during a movie.

  • dudes, this has been here already with no special programing its called base shakers and sonic chairs

    my editor tricked out his basement movie room with this and it is great for big movies.

    we don’t need special programing it is in the sound mix already

  • Minneapolis was, I believe, the second city to get these. James and I went and watched T:S at the grand unveiling of the chairs then talked about it on the first episode of our podcast. The consensus seemed to be … Meh.

  • Maopheus

    I don’t think this will do anything. Gimmicks and cheap amusement park tricks won’t enhance the movie-going experience. 3-D won’t either. 3-D didn’t work in the ’50, the ’80s and it won’t work now because it doesn’t fundamentally change or improve the nature of the movie watching experience. As long we watch movies on a 2-D screen, no amount of gimmickry will make 3-D a necessary and vital element to the movie. 3-D is an option and it makes certain scenes look better, but does 3-D really completely change a movie? I don’t think so. The only place I’ve seen that 3-D actually works is at theme parks where the 3-D film show is combined with a live action element like Terminator 3-D or the Muppets show at Disney World.

  • BigHungry

    Bring Smell-O-Vision back and we will have all our senses going for the movies.
    Can you smell the sarcasm?

  • D-Box? No.

    But I’ve been huge D-Bag for a few years now – and so far it’s been great.

  • MJS

    This looks astonishingly expensive

  • Steve

    You can’t really judge the D-BOX experience until you’ve tried it. It really has nothing to do with the soundtrack — it’s all about what you would ‘feel’ in a particular scene, not what you would hear. So no, it’s really not related to bass shakers or rumblepacks at all. That, and D-BOX has a lot more experience doing this than people realize. They’ve been selling high-end home theater motion equipment for years, and have written these motion ‘scripts’ for over 1000 movies which you can use from your existing library and screen in your own home.

    The home theater stuff is, as written, bastardly expensive, which is why I think they are making the push into big screens. For a roughly $20 ticket, you can do the same thing the $50,000 home theater stuff does.

  • Mason

    Theater technology sure has progressed since the primitive days of Feelaround.

  • The next thing there gonna do is add water sprayers in the back of seats, and wind effects in theatres. This stype of thing should stayin Universal Studios and Disney World if u ask me.

  • Speaking of Sensurround, Damndirtyape, I wonder why there hasn’t been an Earthquake remake. With today’s CGI, Earthquake would rule. Add 3-D and you’d have a blockbuster!

    Jonathan, I think you should try reading books. Ha ha.

    I remember when everyone thought “color” was a fad.

  • syd

    Forget the coffee.give me Earth Wind and Fire….dancin in september-in my ride.

  • Anne Johnson

    I’ve actually tried these at the Mann in Hollywood and from a girl who loves movies but not a huge fan of those action flicks, I found myself totally engrossed in the movie because you get to feel what’s happening on screen. I give it a thumbs up! Gotta try it at least once

  • ” Gimmicks and cheap amusement park tricks won’t enhance the movie-going experience.”

    Gimmicks and cheap amusement park tricks have been souring the theatrical experience for years. I’ve completely stopped going to the FamousPlayers/Galaxy/Cinexplex chain because they are more interested in the peripheral noise than the actual films. And all that advertisment is a bit garrish.

    The AMC-Canada part of the chain is the classiest ‘multiplex’ type theatre around where I live, and they get all my business, because their theatre lobbies are quiet videogame and fast-food free and they haven’t gone to video commercials before the show and continue using those blessedly silent slide shows instead.

    D-Box is a silly idea that will fad out soon enough.

  • Hugo

    Maybe this will bring ” Feel O Rama” back.

  • Oliver

    There are more recent videos on their new YouTube page :

  • Richard

    Dbox is by far the best quality technology available for the enjoyment of movie watching. Dbox haters should go back and watch their movies on a black and white tv with only one speaker. The purpose of cinema is to get lost in the experience and forget about your day day grind. Look up Imax and real D on the stockmarket. Both are trading in the mid to high 20$ a share. Dbox is in the high to low 50/60 cents a share. I tried dbox. You should try it before you knock it. I am a proud stockholder who will be laughing all the way to the bank.