While the opening of the IMAX Theatre at the Savoy 16 is the most obvious change to the area movie house, another addition has been made to one of the existing screens that will provide viewers with a more immersive film-going experience, one that will literally shake, rattle and roll you with the action on the screen.
The D-Box is a special seat that employs motion effects (MFX) that are synchronized to the action on the screen. Similar to seats used in flight simulators, it can move from side-to-side, tilt forward, pitch back and vibrate quickly up and down. A two-seat demonstration module is currently in the lobby of the Savoy 16, providing patrons with a sampling of the D-Box experience. As scenes from three different action films play out on a small screen before the viewer, the seat is put through its paces. An explosion from Abduction finds the seat tipping back to simulate the force of the blast; a car chase from The Expendables has you tilting from right to left every time Sylvester Stallone jerks the steering wheel; a sequence from The Hunger Games allows the seat to let you feel what it’s like to try and outrun a fireball over uneven ground.
Obviously, the D-Box is not where you want to be if you’re prone to motion sickness but for rollercoaster enthusiasts and others who simply can’t just sit and watch a film, this is a perfect way to enhance your movie-going experience. One of the smartest things the demonstration module does is that it plays the chase scene from The Expendables twice – once with the D-Box effects and then once without. The difference between the two is striking and it underscores what a unique experience the device provides.
As of right now, the Savoy 16 is trying out D-Box on a limited basis. 21 seats have been installed in one of the smaller auditoriums (Theater 15, which only has 107 seats total) and if the device proves to be popular, surely more will be installed. As with the IMAX Theater, there is a hefty surcharge ($8) to experience the D-Box. This, coupled with an upcharge for 3-D ($2.50) along with the regular ticket price makes for a potential $20 night at the movies. With Iron Man 3 currently playing in Theater 15, only you can say if this is money well spent to experience what it might be like to soar through the sky in a titanium alloy suit blasting away bad guys.