Recently launched 5-D theatre in the city promises to saturate the senses

Cinema, as a medium of engagement with the senses, has till now been experienced by Tiruchiites only in two or three dimensions. But the recent launch of a 5-D theatre in the city promises to saturate the senses with much more.

The 5-D theatre opened earlier this month, by Vijay Cinemas, plays more than a dozen shows a day. Each show runs for 15 minutes in a 12 seater hall and is priced at Rs. 100. “The basic concept is like that of a 3D film,” explains proprietor Madan Mohan. “Additionally, the seat moves and elements like smoke, dust, snow and rain are recreated. Besides, there is Auro 3D sound.” Children, in particular, have taken to the experience, he adds.

Sastivel Loganathan, a college student, who experienced the show says, “I enjoyed the visceral experience. Sometimes I couldn’t help myself from swatting away an imaginary fly or gripping the arm rest during a scene with quick movement.” The short films simulate the experience of zipping through woods in a car or wandering though through the forest, even as fake snow or rain is showered on viewers.

The technology still seems to be in the developing phase, notes Sastivel. “I noticed a delay in between what was on screen and the movement of my chair and other effects. Also the chair could have been more comfortable.”

The existing 5D films have no plot or characters to speak of. “As of now there are no complex 5D films, the technology itself is still experimental,” justifies Madan Mohan. Also, none of the films are in Indian languages. “The concept is still nascent. To my knowledge, there haven’t been many Indian 5D films, ” Mr. Madan adds.

The enthusiasm the audience has shown towards 5D cinema reminds one of the very early days of cinema itself, where the very fact that movement was captured on camera, was relished. There is scope for this kind of cinema, but only if it evolves beyond its current form.