At an estimated cost of Rs 5 lakh a seat, PVR’s investment will amount to Rs 20 crore. “We are using technology to give our viewers a differentiated experience while at the movies. Our association with D-Box is one such initiative, as is our tie-up with ScreenX, which allows parts of films to be projected on to three walls of the auditorium. ScreenX makes for more impactful viewing where the visual requires scale — like a concert scene, a battle scene or a scene that shows the view from the top of a mountain, for example,” says Gautam Dutta, chief executive at PVR, which has initially commissioned 10 such screens.
Inox has also announced a slew of technology tie-ups to provide differentiated movie viewing experiences across its properties. It announced the launch of its MX4D screens, along with the ScreenX feature, at multiple properties.
Motion seat technology uses special codes, embedded in the digital print of a film being screened at a movie hall, to create corresponding motion in the viewer’s seat. Any scene with a visual impact can be translated into seat movement with this technology, helping a more ‘immersive’ movie viewing experience.
While motion seat entertainment is part of the 4DX movie-going experience, D-Box’s technology is more grounded -- it is restricted to motion of the seat and does not include effects like smoke, spray, wind, etc. Additionally, each seat is accompanied by a modulator that allows the viewer to control the level of motion on the seat. “So if someone is having a beverage, they can for that time stop all motion on the seat. And, then, resume the motion feature once they are done consuming the drink. This makes for a customised motion seat experience, which allows the viewer to take control of the experience,” says Dutta.
The cinema chain will start conversion of seats right away. The first centres to be provided with the facilities will be in the metropolitan cities and locations where viewers have the propensity to spend on luxury experience. The premium charged will be between Rs 100 and Rs 300 a seat, depending on location of the multiplex and timing.
PVR, through its distribution business vertical, PVR Pictures, will also play mediator between D-Box and Indian film producers/studios for the latter to adopt the codes on to the digital print of their films. In the case of Hollywood films, D-Box already has partnerships with various studios.
Already released films can be retrofitted with both technologies and re-released in theatres with the new features, allowing producers to make more from their projects. Producers also stand to make more money off these specialised prints, as PVR intends to share half the premium with their studio partners on such projects.