A 5D Movie Theater on Wheels

By Michelle Martinez

What is better than watching a 3D movie in a theater? A 5D movie theater on wheels of course! Fernando Jimenez Colon, 34, was born in Mao, Dominican Republic. Colon saw a similar mobile theater in Punta Cana, D.R., and decided that he wanted to come back to New York to start working on this project.

“I want to offer the public something different that I haven’t seen in this country before,” said Colon. He worked as an electrician to collect enough money to create his mobile movie experience. He slowly started putting the pieces together for the van over a year. As of the beginning of March, the movie van is nearly complete apart from some missing parts and will be fully functional soon.

Colon bought the parts he needed for this project from China. “Everyone said I was crazy for sending money to people that I didn’t know,” Colon said. “As I started getting the parts for the project, they found out that what I was doing was possible.”

As I walked along E 193rd St and Jerome Avenue with my aunt and cousins, we noticed the black van parked near the park. We assumed it was an attraction that wasn’t open and decided to walk pass it.

As we passed, Arlyn Salcedo Perez, 10, my cousin, stopped mid stride pointing at back to the van, and said, “What is that?” We turned in unison to face the van again and Colon was standing in front of it. As we made our way back to the van, Colon began to explain the attraction to us.

The mobile theater gives its participants an immersive experience. Participants feel as though they are riding in a real roller coaster. It is equipped with moving chairs, a big tv screen, smoke machine, and water features. Each ride cost $3 per individual for a four-to-seven-minute experience. Before entering everyone is given a pair of 3D glasses and hand sanitizer. The attraction is available for all ages.

He invited Salcedo Perez to give it a whirl. “The chairs started moving, and smoke came out the corner of the van,” she said afterwards. “I was a bit scared because I never imagine that smoke would come out.” The chairs in the van rocked in sync, with the actions on the screen. If the screen showed water splashing, inside the van participants would feel the mist of water fall on their skin. The same goes for the fog. When the van started playing monster growls on the speakers, a group of onlookers drew closer to the van. Some of them said “I want to get inside.” Other asked Colon how much was for the ride.

Lisenny Maria Perez Baez, 27, Salcedo Perez’s mother was ecstatic when she heard about the attraction and her son’s reaction to it. “Absolutely! I would allow my daughter to ride again,” Baez said. “It is simple yet beautiful.”

Colon plans on traveling around Queens and the Bronx, providing a new experience and entertainment for people. “I feel happy because, thanks to God, I accomplished something I could never imagine,” Colon said. “It has been difficult, but at the end of the road it was worth the effort.”

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