Best Movie Theatres in Delhi
The Indian junta follows 2 religions: cinema and cricket. Black-and-white motion pictures that tell a story to the accompaniment of live music were the start of a culture that would soon establish an inextricable grip over the Indian public. And with every leap that technology made, the Indian cinema underwent an irreversible change for the better.
If a wardrobe served as the portal to the fantasy land of Narnia in C S Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”, cinema theatres serve as the gateway between reality and the world of fiction and entertainment. Though cinema theatres never lose their charm, they are, time and again, forced to undergo plastic surgery to compete with the younger gadgets and technologies that take films to the desks/palms of the public.
The advent of multiplexes is a milestone in the history of cinema halls and this success story was scripted in New Delhi, the national capital. An achievement befitting the grandeur of the city.
The people of Delhi have always been market-savvy and are among the foremost to adopt new ideas. At a time when people increasingly preferred buying video cassettes and watching movies at home, theatres Chanakya and Regent had installed digital sound systems, thereby becoming the first theatres to do so, and attracted Hollywood fans. Chanakya Theatre continues to offer superior movie-watching experience to the residents of Chanakyapuri till date.
Shiela Theatre, the country’s first 70mm cinema hall, was established in 1961. At the time of its construction, the concept of 70mm screens was so alien to the architects and technicians of India, that an American authority on motion picture theatres and auditorium designs had to be hired to realise the cinema hall. Shiela Theatre has, over the years, been patronized by numerous luminaries including Jawaharlal Nehru, Zakir Hussain, Indira Gandhi, Amitabh Bachchan and Amrish Puri. With an impeccable audio-visual system in place, this yesteryear auditorium situated on the bustling streets of Karol Bagh, continues to draw a fair share of the movie-going folks in the city.
Priya Village Roadshow (PVR), a household name, is the first chapter of the multiplex revolution in India. The company was the result of Delhi-based entrepreneur Bijli Pahalwan’s bid to give Chanakya a run for its money. PVR bought a theatre named Anupam in Saket, New Delhi, in 1997, revamped the place and rechristened the theatre PVR Anupam. Thus came into picture India’s first multiplex.
PVR presently boasts of 8 multiplexes in New Delhi, one each in Saket, Prashant Vihar, Naraina Industrial Area and Vasant Vihar, and 2 each in Vikaspuri and Connaught Place. Irrespective of where they are located, all the PVR multiplexes boast of plush seating arrangements, surround sound systems and exceptional video quality. Besides the screens, the multiplexes boast of gaming zones and food courts, thereby living up to their promise of providing the customers with varied entertainment.
Connaught Place is the horse-shoe shaped shopping and entertainment district in the city. Offering respite to the exhausted shoppers and worn out wallets, are 3 luxurious cinema halls. Located in the Inner Circle of Connaught Place is PVR Plaza, a refurbished single screen auditorium with a seating capacity of 300. Competing with PVR Plaza is Odeon, a haunt termed “cool” by the movie buffs in the city. Regal, New Delhi’s first cinema hall, was revamped to cater to the diverse crowds flocking Connaught Place.
Fun Cinemas, one of India’s largest cinema chains, monopolizes the film-screening scene in East Delhi. 2 Fun Cinema halls, one each in Preet Vihar and Shahdara, are the only cinema halls in East Delhi. Recliner seats, 3-way surround sound systems and the perks of state-of-the-art technology beckon fantasy fans to Fun Cinemas.
Golcha Cinema, situated in the 300-year-old shopping district of Chandni Chowk, ranks among the most popular haunts of film connoisseurs in New Delhi. Its pink retro exterior, and the cut-out lettered sign on top of the building that screams out the name of the hall, convince a visitor that they time traveled backwards by at least half a century. However, the carpeted interiors, Dolby Digital sound systems and JBL speakers are very much the spoils of modern technology, and one finds that the quality of presentation is not compromised upon.
There are at present 30 venues to watch movies in Delhi and most of these are talkies. Multiplex culture is still setting in and the single-screen theatres in New Delhi will soon have to be refurbished if they are to have any hope of capturing the interest of the Matrix-paced multitudes of the buzzing metropolis.
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