Even better than IMAX
D-BOX motion movie seats come to Tomball
I was skeptical as I pulled up to the massive Silverado 19 movie theater, complete with giant cowboy façade. Tomball is not somewhere I venture unless lured by something exceptional, so I determined to hold the theater's new D-BOX movie seats to exacting standards.
The theater was the first in Houston to install D-BOX motion movie seats, and I was the first of my friends to try them. Created by a Montreal-based company, (the name is a playful jab at the founders' accents) the seats move with the action of the movie.
I was braced for a rollercoaster-esque ride, but was pleasantly surprised by the chairs' subtlety. Motion designers work frame-by-frame for nearly 400 hours per film to write code that tells the seats how to move. The base moves along with what you see on screen, but the chairs also vibrate with the soundtrack. The clip I watched of the upcoming Sherlock Holmes has me planning on trekking back for the opening, even at $17 a ticket.
And fear not, it's not constant commotion. Only about a third of most movies' duration has accompanying motion — intense action flicks can have more; 2012 kept people moving for half the film — and moviegoers can adjust the intensity or shut off the motion all together.
D-BOX began 15 years ago making speakers, and found success in the high-end home theater industry before expanding to commercial theaters last April. Santikos Silverado 19 is the 13th North American theater to sport the seats, and Sherlock Holmes will be the ninth feature film they've coded. Another theater in Austin has got the technology, and the company is in talks to install seats in a movie theater in San Antonio.
I'm sold. The seats made even an excerpt of The Fast and the Furious riveting.