Friday, January 27, 2006

The future of cinema?


So, will digital cinema spell the end of multiplexes? The picture above is a small digital theatre located in a railway station complex in New Bombay. Charges are low, at 50 rupees a ticket. Technology can make many things cheaper. A very long awaited movie is releasing today, Rang De Basanti and it is a whopper for the multiplexes, atleast in the first week.

Many years ago, during the days before multiplexes, a blockbuster meant that theatres would arbitrarily hike their rates. If they did not do that, they would station their own men to sell tickets in "black". Prices would be artificially jacked up. The movie going public would pay more money, the theatre owner or manager and the blackmarketeer (in cahoots with the theatre) took a cut while the government got the usual tax.

With the arrival of multiplexes and online booking the black business has gone down, atleast in the urban areas, but the tickets have become expensive on the whole (which is ok, because it is worth the money). In the earlier days AC meant airconditioning in the beginning of the movie and then miserly owners would switch off the AC. Seating was pathetic and every seat had more bed bugs than the population of India. Sound systems usually meant loud sound and nothing else. All in all, it was a rip off at all theaters except the best.

Coming back to digital cinema, the theater pictured above is a small theatre, miniplex (?) slightly larger than a home theatre. At 50 rupees it is half the price of a multiplex ticket at the very least. The larger multiplexes charge upto 300 for tickets especially on weekends and new releases like this movie. For a first day show, it is a steal. So, how was the movie? Movie reviews are better covered by other blogs.

1 comment:

Richard Hooper said...

hi,
nice post you have published, can you known how many seats are available in that theaters.
PVR Cinemas, Innovative Multiplex