What is D-BOX? – A Review

Hey everyone,

So I haven’t seen movies for a while because school has been swamping me down, but I did manage to catch Thor : The Dark World with one of my friends over the weekend!

When purchasing our tickets, we realized that aside from the usual IMAX, Ultra AVX and regular showings (3D+regular), there was a new option available: D-BOX.

Doing some initial research, we found out that with D-BOX, your seat moves according to what is happening on the screen. We decided to try it out.

Firstly, if you choose D-BOX, you’re still watching a 3D version of the movie– at least that’s what happened to us. Secondly, we realized the D-BOX seats do not get a theatre to themselves like Ultra AVX films. Instead, we get an area of the regular 3D showing sectioned off for us. These seats are red in colour, and you pre-reserved your seats when you buy your ticket (much like the Ultra AVX films). They reserved some of the prime seats in the house for D-BOX viewers (middle section, closer to the back). When you find your seat, you’ll realize that on your right armrest, you get to select how intense you want your seat movement. These seats are also more comfortable and bigger (they fit less of these seats in the typical row than the regular seats).

Red seats = D-BOX seats; Blue seats = regular seats. All in the same theatre.

Red seats = D-BOX seats; Blue seats = regular seats. All in the same theatre.

Now for the experience bit. 
Firstly, if you get nauseous during 3D movies, I’m pretty sure you won’t be enjoying this. Back when I first started watching movies in 3D, I’d get dizzy, and the same thing happened initially with D-BOX. However, my nausea went away after I got used to the moving seat.

The chair doesn’t only vibrate, but it also lifts you up and down, and forwards and backwards. Now, don’t worry about it just throwing you around. These movements aren’t that intense, but are usually gentle. It’s not like those 4-D rides that make you feel as if you’re actually in a spaceship or whatnot– remember, you’re still in a regular theatre where 80% of the viewers there are watching the film in standard 3D. It’s also pretty quiet, so you don’t really notice the sounds from the chair.

During Thor, we would move along to spaceships that flew across the screen, which was cool. There was also this liquid matter that the screen showed, and our seats gently mimicked the liquid’s floating movement, making you feel as if you were a part of it. There were also scenes where when Thor jumped off a building (not a spoiler, because he can jump anywhere. He’s the God of thunder.), your chair raises you slightly so that you can fall with him off the ledge.

So what did I like about it?
I thought that it was a cool experience. It’s definitely differed from traditional methods of viewing movies, and it does add to the movie. You also don’t need to sacrifice the 3D (if that’s your thing– I like 3D only if it’s made well and the film was actually developed with 3D in mind). Having reserved seating meant that you did not have grab a seat early, and the seats were nice and comfortable since they were bigger.

What did I not like about it?
I was a bit nauseous at the beginning, but that eventually went away. There were some unnecessary movements (did we really need vibrations when Thor ran up the stairs? Arguably not.). It also costs more than your regular ticket (made a chart for your reference– Oo! Look at me being all fancy!).

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 5.23.08 PM

My friend who went with me also thought it was a good experience. If you’re not sure whether D-BOX is for you, it never hurts to try it. For me, the biggest issue is the cost. I wouldn’t mind having the accompanying chair-guided-movements to movies if it wasn’t for how much more it costs per showing. I guess I would’ve also enjoyed it more if everyone in the theatre had D-BOX seats, but that wasn’t too big of a problem.

For those of you who have tried out D-BOX, what are your thoughts?



27 thoughts on “What is D-BOX? – A Review

  1. Quieter Elephant says:

    I’d never heard of D-BOX until today. Trawling through LinkedIn I noticed one of my old colleagues in Quebec was now a director of their Home Entertainment division. I just vaguely thought “oo – I wonder what THEY do…”. Now I know – thanks for educating me! And I presume too, from his title, that you can get one for your home theatre/gaming system, if you really want to!

    • kalyrical says:

      Ahaha no problem 🙂 But dang, didn’t know it could also be used in homes… can only imagine how much excess money you’d have to have to get that installed. I mean, the ticket prices themselves seem pretty bad!

  2. Niejan says:

    This sounds like a lot of fun and I definitely wanna try it sometime, but for now I will stick to IMAX. And for the record: I absolutely hate 3D, but I’m cool with IMAX 3D (as long there’s IMAX involved, I’m in). LOL 😀

    • kalyrical says:

      Haha IMAX is pretty awesome! But yeah, even if you don’t like 3D, you gotta try out D-BOX. I mean, it’s not the craziest experience or anything, but it’s definitely different 🙂

  3. db Hill says:

    I have tried D-Box seats in a theater, and thought it an interesting experience, but not worth the price. I put a full review on my blog at dbhill.blog.com

  4. Yue Jie says:

    Hey! I’m a movie buff in Singapore here. Came across your blog while I was looking for reviews on D-Box at GV Bishan and yours seem pretty good. Enjoyed reading it. Would be nice if we could chat someday. I wanna know what life is like in Canada! 🙂

  5. Shane Zwicker says:

    I live in Toronto and iidk if things have changed or if things are different in your area but any of the D-box selection I’ve seen the D-box is separate from the 3D. So you do have to sacrifice 3D for D-box. That is why I have no yet tried D-box. I was tempted to try D-box for the new Jurassic world movie but then I realised, not only is it just a single row of seats(realised after finding out that the entire D-box selection was sold out that day) but they “reserved some prime seats” UP IN THE NOSEBLEEDS one row from the back of the theatre..

    I still have not yet tried these and not sure if I want to. You have to sacrifice 3D and a decent location in the theatre.

    • kalyrical says:

      Very interesting. Are you saying that they reserved a row for Jurassic World for D-Box? So in a REGULAR non-3d showing, they reserve some D-Box seats, but not for 3D showings of a movie? That’s not a very fun sacrifice :/

      I think what’s considered nosebleeds varies XD For myself, the back rows are pretty good. Well, better than the front ones where you have to crane your neck for the whole performance. Of course, my favourite is still the middles seats (for 3D especially).

      Of course, my experiences are limited to Vancouver, and for us, D-Box is still part of the same theatre as the 3D ones. I know because about two months ago, I could feel the vibrations of the D-Box seats from where I sat in the regular 3D seats in the theatre!

      • Shane Zwicker says:

        The vibrations of the D-Box? Are you sure that wasn’t the bass you were feeling? It gets pretty heavy in the theatre.
        I didn’t mean they reserved a row for that specific movie, I was just reusing your words when you said they reserved some prime seats and to me the seats way in the back are not prime seats. I don’t like to sit right in front of the screen either but when I go into a theatre I go there to see a movie on a huge screen so why am I going to sit so far back that it looks like I’m only watching a 10 foot screen instead of a 30 foot screen? I sit as close to the centre of the screen as I can and that’s usually E18, the D-Box seats are all the way up at J.

        The term nosebleeds is usually used in stadiums such as baseball or football stadiums and they are used to denote the seats that are so high that the people up there would get nosebleeds(not literally though). The J seats are nearly as high up as you can get so as far as theatres are concerned J and K would be considered the “nosebleeds”.

      • kalyrical says:

        Yup, I’m sure because I could turn around and see that they were the red D-Box chairs and people were adjusting their vibration before the showing. Also just checked on Cineplex to make sure it’s still the same here in Vancouver (this blog post was from 2 years ago! As you pointed out in your first comment), it still is. If the D-Box seats are sold out, it gives you the option to buy one of the regular 3D seats in the same room. I see now that there are also D-Box options that are in non-3D showings, and I’m not sure if that’s a dedicated D-Box room?

        Yeah, I absolutely understand that they didn’t reserve all the center seats. The seats I’m seeing now on Cineplex is H-J in a cinema that goes back to K, so you’re right it’s one row from the back. At the same time, the D-Box seats will never be at the AA spots, so in comparison it’s the better seats— especially when it’s reserved for you and you don’t have to go early in to snag a spot. Also, you cannot sit in the side seats for D-Box as they only put the seats in the centre section, so that’s pretty nice.

        During my first, and only trip to a D-Box showing, I sat in the frontest row possible for D-Box viewers, which was row H. I thought it was splendid. Cinemas do recommend you sit around 2/3s of the way up the theatre because that’s where the sound is optimal. They didn’t reserve rows E-H for people using D-Box, but they did give row H. Given that they reserve 3 rows for D-Box viewers, that’s 1/3rd of the seats. Maybe if I sat in row J, I’d have worded my review differently.

        Either way, I think it was an interesting experience, albeit expensive. Try it if you’d like, but if it doesn’t appeal to you, save your money ☺

      • Shane Zwicker says:

        I just looked it up, not a lot of theatres in Toronto area have D-box(surprisingly). I was able to find one that had D-box and 3D but it’s in markham and that may be too far to go from here. As well the lowest seats it had was the J section.
        As for going in early to snag a spot, all of the ultraAVX theatre movies have reserved seating and I don’t bother going in the other theatres for the most part. I mean sure I could go to the same theatre and see a movie for 3-4$ less but the ultraAVX rooms are worth the extra cost, the screen is so much bigger and even the seating iirc. But ya, my point is that most movies I’ve seen in recent years have had reserved seating so I always just reserve E18.

        I actually kinda miss the days before reserved seating though, when I could just show up to the theatre an hour early and get the exact seat I wanted regardless of what other’s wanted because no one else would show up that early, lol.

      • kalyrical says:

        Oh I guess we were basically looking at pretty different things in terms of seating haha!
        I too miss when basically any movie could be walk in and you’d get decent seats. I usually buy UltraAVX when the movie is relatively new and I know it’s going to be popular. Otherwise I usually save a few bucks more and get either regular 3D or even non- 3D because I’m pretty cheap XD I really do enjoy reserved seating tho

      • Shane Zwicker says:

        I always try and get ultraAVX in 3D but in retrospect I could have gone without 3D on some movies. I mean on some movies the implementation of the 3D makes it a near vital part of seeing the movie. Like in Avatar, Superman or Jupiter ascending. Mostly the movies with flying it works really well with but there was a final destination movie that I seen in 3D that it worked really well with. That part in which the wrench went flying off the back of the car, hit the pavement then flew at the screen; I actually flinched XD.

        But then a lot of movies I watch them in 3D and I actually forget that I’m even in a 3D movie by the end of it.

  6. David Wohlberg says:

    I know this blog entry is two years old already. We just got D-BOX here in Saskatoon. It is part of our UltraAVX theatre, which makes sense since that is the only theatre to allow seat reservation. I deliberately choose regular UltraAVX seats as I didn’t think it was worth the extra $6.00. Rows J and K are the new seats. I could only get decent seats in row I. Out seats vibrated as well throughout the movie (The Martian) and I’d have to say, a little here and there wasn’t bad, but large explosions or long action scenes felt like too much, and I wasn’t even in the D-BOX seats. In my opinion if I wanted a ride, I would go to the 4D virtual roller coaster in West Edmonton Mall. Next time I’ll make certain to place a few rows between myself and the D-BOX seats as a buffer.

    Perhaps I’ll try those seats one day, but I’d honestly have to be in the mood for a ride – usually I just want to watch the movie without added distractions.

  7. Don't need to know says:

    Hi I watched the movie doctor strange in detox 3d and it was cool FAM like I mean it was lit I was moving everrrrrry like side to side up and down it was lit FAM o That and guy is hitting on you BTW and I’m much cuter so If you want to hit me up in the dm it will be lit

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