If you’ve always cribbed about missing the stadium feel while watching your favourite cricketers play, the Indian Premier League is ready to bring that experience to a theatre near you. Live high definition feeds of the IPL Twenty20 matches, which open on March 12, will now be available in more than 1,000 cinema halls across 500 cities. The tickets will be priced as the weekend movie tickets, with a premium on final and semi final matches.
"Once people see it on the big screen, they won’t go back to TV. Match watching is a community viewing so we are planning a carnival kind of environment in theatres with music, cheerleaders, audience dressed funkily, star visits, IPL cuisine etc," said Kapil Agarwal joint managing director UFO Moviez. IPL chief Lalit Modi has already announced that the matches would also be available in 3D format, Agarwal said, "Presently, there are 70 3-D screens in India. We’ll feature the premium matches in those. Next year, we’ll launch our own 250 3-D screens."
While fans can’t hide their excitement, the news has Bollywood in a tizzy. "Wow! I can watch the IPL finale right here in my in Delhi," said Aman Narula, 16, a budding cricketer. Filmmaker Kumar Taurani said, "It is a risk releasing films with such a major sporting event." However, Amitava Vardhan of PVR Cinemas clarified, "We are just replacing one show with the match. The viewers can now have ad-free viewing at affordable prices."
Boon for low-budget films
While the Bollywood biggies have postponed their releases fearing a clash with the IPL, for the small filmmakers this is a boon. The IPL season sees 20 small-budget film releases. Some of them are:
Shaapit - March 19
Prince-It’s Showtime - March 26
Well Done Abba - March 26
Milenge Milenge - April 2
Paathshala - April 9
Run Bhola Run - April 16