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New cinema scene in Delhi

As part of the Delhi 100 series, we look at how the movie watching culture has evolved in the Capital, from single screens to multi-faceted forms.

bollywood Updated: Oct 08, 2011 02:11 IST
Namya Sinha
Namya Sinha
Hindustan Times

Film buffs, who literally eat and drink cinema, can now enhance their movie watching experience beyond just watching a flick with a tub of popcorn.

This week, the Capital saw the launch of PVR Ltd.’s Director’s Cut, a theatre which has four luxury movie halls, a café, a high-end restaurant with a well stocked bar, patisserie and a book and souvenir shop — both of which house exclusive movie memorabilia.

“We are movie buffs and we thought that why don’t we stretch the limit. The concept of Gold Class cinema is already there, so we decided to take it a step up,” says Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd. “There is always an excitement around a movie and people want to sit around and discuss it. So, we decided to make an environment where people can sit and discuss movies. Hence, we made a restaurant. The bookstore came in when we thought what all would a movie lover want,” he adds.

The four auditoriums have different seating capacities, with the smallest being 25 people. These can be booked by people for private screenings of movies from a collection of 300 select films. The halls will also screen the latest flicks. There’s another concept called Director’s Rare, under which, two shows per day will be dedicated to rare, vintage or award-winning films from all over the country and world. The reclining chair in the auditoriums have a push button, which on pressing, will instruct a server to come with an iPad menu. The orders are directly recorded in the kitchen and delivered to your seat.

The restaurant and shops are open to those who don’t want to watch a movie, but simply want to hangout and soak in the cinema.

Things You Need To Know
What: Director’s Cut
Where: 3rd floor, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj
Tickets: Weekdays: Morning (Rs 600), Evening (Rs 850), Weekend (Rs 1,050)
Aerated drinks: Rs100 (plus taxes)
Popcorn: Rs 120 - Rs 130 plus taxes
Meal for two in the restaurant: Rs 2,000 (approx)

Multiplexes boom: This decade was marked by the end of single screen halls. In 2007, iconic Delhi theatre, Chanakya Cinema, also shut down. Odeon cinema became a part of Big Cinemas and now has two screens. Alankar Cinema in Lajpat reopened as 3Cs in 2002

Being single: In the early 1990s, there were only single screen halls in the Capital until the first multiplex of the country, Anupam PVR Cineplex, opened in Saket in the year 1997

Cinema goes west: Satyam Cineplex opened in 1980. It was the first movie theatre in Patel Nagar in West Delhi

Single in the city: In 1970, Chanakya Cinema and Vishal Cinema opened. With a seating capacity of 1,400 people, Vishal was the largest movie hall in the country

70mm in town: The Sheila movie hall, which opened in Paharganj in 1961, was India’s first 70 mm theatre

Comfort cinema: Delite Cinema and Golcha opened in 1954 in Old Delhi. Delite was the first air conditioned hall in North India. In 1956, Eros Cinema opened in Jungpura. “At that time, movies ran for 50-60 weeks. But now, people get a lot of TV channels, so films hardly last for 4 weeks,” says NR Saini, the owner of Golcha

Sold Delhi is cinema central: As talkies became more and more popular, eight to nine movie halls opened up in Old Delhi around this time, including Ritz, Novelty, Jagat and Kumar Talkies. They were referred to as ‘bioscope’ or ‘mandwa’ and known by the area they were located in

Lights camera action: Regal cinema opened in 1932 in Connaught Place. In 1933, Plaza Cinema opened nearby. In 1939, Moti Hall in Old Delhi revamped itself from being a venue for live theatre performances to a movie hall that screened Bollywood talkies

First Published: Oct 07, 2011 18:14 IST