KARACHI: If you think seeing Tyrannosaurus rex rip through the fence in the 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Jurassic Park next July is the ultimate sensory thrill, you may want to revise your thoughts.
Pakistan’s first five-dimensional (5D) movie theatre is slated to open later this month in Karachi and the project sponsors are confident that it will offer cinemagoers an exciting new experience.
The cinema in Emerald Tower near Do Talwar will offer its viewers a combination of new special effects, including moving seats, snow foam sprays and water splashes.
“We had been looking at this opportunity for quite some time,” said Adil Sher, who is affiliated with Jest, a shipping company which has invested in the venture. “Not many countries have this sort of entertainment. I am sure people will love it.”
The small eight-seat theatre is expected to open to the public before Eidul Azha, between October 20 and 25. “5D theatres usually don’t have more than 12 seats,” Sher told The Express Tribune. “The seating capacity allows a family to have fun together.”
The cost of running the combined visual, audio and physical effects is, however, high and the duration of movies small. This form of entertainment has yet to be made commercially successful.
The company is deciding on what movies to show in the coming weeks. The length of the movies will be between 12 and 20 minutes. The movement of seats, water sprays and other things need to be aligned with what is happening on screen.
Sher told The Express Tribune that the investment doesn’t come without risk. “It’s true that we thought [about the costs]. Nothing like this has been tried here before and there is no way of judging the response it will receive. But I am convinced that lack of avenues of entertainment will make this venture an instant hit.”
Sher insisted that some of the effects will be breathtaking. “Imagine a scene where you see elephant spraying water from its trunk and you are able to feel it. Then there will be drops of water and lightening when a thunderstorm rolls on the screen.”
Even though 5D cinemas don’t cover the sense of smell, Sher said that they have tried to incorporate that in the facility as well. “It won’t be as good as a 7D thing but it will be nice.”
The equipment has been imported from Taiwan but the sponsors are not willing to divulge the name of the company and size of investment.
In recent years, the opening of Cineplex and Atrium 3D cinemas has renewed interest among families to watch movies in theatres. The 5D cinema is not directly in competition with them and Sher says his product is better.
“Nobody wants to waste three hours on a bad horror movie. If you choose to see something scary at our theatre, we will make those 15 minutes unforgettable for you.”
Across the road
Just a stone’s throw away from Emerald Tower, 27-storey Ocean Towers housing a four-screen multiplex is nearing completion. The formal inauguration is slated for December.
The theatre has been built by Cinepax, which runs a cinema in Rawalpindi, and is supposed to be inaugurated soon. However, the company’s officials are tight-lipped about the official launch date.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2012.