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You don’t need to be a Bollywood star to attend a private screening. Here are the FAQs to renting a screen in the city...

entertainment Updated: Apr 16, 2010 16:30 IST
Jayeeta Mazumder

So, what are the regular choices available to any movie-going patron? Flavour of popcorn? Platinum-class seats? At the most, movie-show timings? What if we tell you that you can not only change the films being screened, but also the audience you’d like to watch it with. Preview theatres aren’t new, but did you know booking a hall for a private screening is just a call away?

These preview theatres open doors to not just tinsel town.Many of them let you rent their facilities for private screenings as well. Pixion in Bandra, which is often frequented by Bollywood biggies for film previews, offers its theatre for private and corporate parties as well. Sanjay Yashroy, chief operating officer, says that for a screening at Pixion, they will even “arrange for the food from anywhere you want”.

Relax and enjoy
Apart from playing regular film reels, Pixion also has the technology to play DVDs and high-definition digital prints. A 23-seater hall, Pixion, on an average, does 40 to 50 screenings a month, so make sure you book well in advance. “The USP of Pixion is that it’s more of a boutique theatre. Our recliners are better than the couches in most luxury theatres in Mumbai,” Yashroy claims.

However, renting Famous Studios in Mahalaxmi for a private party might prove to be a bit of a challenge. Reason? They seem to take their name literally! Rajeev Parab, of Famous Studios, says, “You have to take special permission for a cocktail party, if you’re not a minister or a film star. Apart from the 55-seater hall, you may also use the lounge to hang out.” But don’t expect the staff to attend to you. When they say they only provide their theatre, they mean it.

Best bets
The easiest places to book are Gem and Glamour in Bandra.Buying off all the tickets at their regular counter prices can avail of the 46-seater halls, which are a part of the G7 old-school multiplex.But they show only current movies.Ketnav in Khar, on the other hand, shows films of your choice, on the condition that you get your own reel. A separate fee is charged for staff services.

You have the option to go mono or Dolby, in terms of the sound system at Eros, Churchgate. The Preview Lounge here can seat 50-60 guests and offers a variety of food to gorge on — all provided from Starters More, a restaurant located in the same building. The preview theatre can also be rented for birthday parties, where they will play any DVD you want them to.

Among the older reputed theatres, Liberty at Marine Lines, lets you rent the terrace for lounging, in addition to the theatre. Charges, of course, are separate. They usually host film previews, but private parties are always welcome. One of the most expensive preview theatres in the city is Tata Theatre, where they let out their 1,010-seater hall for a six-hour slot, for Rs 2.94 lakh!

Booking counter
Eros: 50-60 seats.
Price: Dolby-Rs 3,600; mono reel- Rs 3,000 (for a normal three-hour film).
Call :222822335

Liberty: 28 seats.
Price: Rs 3,000 per hour.
Call :66316887

Gem, Glamour: 46 seats.
Price: Rs 75 per seat.
Call :26558285

Ketnav: Price: Rs 3,000 per hour, staff services- Rs 1,500.
Call 26485320

Pixion: 23 seats.
Price: Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000.
Call :9819178782/ 20080109

Fun Republic: 65 seats.
Price: Rs 3,000 per hour, plus service tax.

Famous Studios: 55 seats.
Price: Rs 3,800 per hour, plus taxes.
Call:24964870/ 30456666

Tata Theatre: 1,010 seats.
Price: Rs 2.94 lakh for a six-hour slot.
Call :66223737