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Vibrating movie theater chairs

As the seat hits cinemas we look back at other special experiences, from 3-D to Smell-O-Vision

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Digital 3-D may be all the rage, but Montreal-based D-Box has a new gadget to lure you to the movies: a vibrating theater chair that moves and grooves to what’s on screen. Just in time for Fast & Furious, the firm installed one row of its chairs in L.A.’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and two rows in a theater in Surprise, Ariz. Sitting in a D-Box chair is like being on a 90-minute amusement-park ride. When Vin Diesel downshifts, you feel your chair move; when he swerves, it leans; when a car explodes, you feel reverberations. Action-heavy F&F may be the best use of D-Box chairs, but are most films worth the $5 surcharge? Hal Scheie, who drove 30 miles to Grauman’s Chinese to experience the chair, says the technology still has kinks but ”I loved it for the explosions.”

A Brief History of Movie Gimmicks
1922
3-D
Harry K. Fairall screens the first 3-D feature, The Power of Love, in L.A.

1959
Percepto
Seats at The Tingler are rigged with motors delivering electrical jolts.

1960
Smell-O-Vision
Each Scent of Mystery viewer receives ”olfactions” from a ”scent vent.”

1962
Cinerama
Three projectors and a curved, wide screen show How the West Was Won.

1974
Sensurround
Large speakers produce high-decibel rumblings for Earthquake.

2009
D-Box chairs aim to give audiences a vroom…with a view.