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Sunday, May 12, 2019

cinema experience ~ recline in double bed and enjoy !!

Converting a currency and looking at its local value is a fallacy – yet this post is about a theatre experience at almost Rs.3500/- per person !!  .. in our college days, the most influential person was the one who could easily arrange cinema tickets for a small group !!

Les cinémas Gaumont Pathé is a Cinema chain owned by Pathé, with operations in France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Tunisia. The company is market leader in each country, with the exception of Belgium and Tunisia.   Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various French businesses that were founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France starting in 1896. In the early 1900s, Pathé became the world's largest film equipment and production company. In 1908, Pathé invented the newsreel that was shown in cinemas prior to a feature film.

Cinema has always had its impact on the people and politics of Tamil Nadu.  Every actor of prominence dreams of making it big in politics, though experience has proved that the great actor like Sivaji was a failure in politics.  There have been movie makers consciously implanting ideas trying to ensure that they become ideologies over a period of time !!

                   Everyday as I passby Gemini fly-over, the vacant land that once was a Theatre complex brings back memories of some movies seen there.  Chennai has a long history of theatres and Mount Road was identified with theatres – from Shanti to Saffire – so many dotted the road.  According to Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema,  edited by Ashish Rajadhyaksha – Warwick Major opened the first theatre in 1900 – but by other accounts, it was in 1913, that  Warwick Major opened the first theatre in Madras in the present Philatelic Bureau on Mount Road, and it was titled Major Warwick Electric theatre.

Triplicane, for long boasted of some theatres – in the nearest vicinity was the Mount Road dotting theatres like Casino, Anna, Chitra, Santhi, Devi complex, Alankar, Odeon, Plaza, Wellingdon, Pilot, Anand, Saffire, Satyam complex  and more  - the ones were in Triplicane were the Childrens Theatre, Paragon and Star Theatre.  Paragon became a big residential complex close to a decade ago ! – Kalaivanar Arangam aka Childrens Theatre now  hosts Govt functions.  Many movie halls of fame -  Sun, Saffire, Anand, Star, Paragon,  Wellington, Chitra, Nagesh, Odeon …. Star have all fallen by the side.  In my college days, the prestigious ticket was priced at Rs.2.90. !!

Way back in 1982 – for two continuous days watched ‘Gulebakavali’ mid-night show at Sriperumpudur ~ the ticket was 0.40 p or so ! ~ I was never an avid cine-buff.  Gulebakavali (The Flower of Bakavali) released in 1955 had  MG  Ramachandran, TR Rajakumari, Rajasulochana, G. Varalakshmi, in lead roles.  The film produced and directed by TR. Ramanna was the story of  a young man out to find a mysterious flower,  believed to have the power to restore anyone's eyesight, and the various challenges he faces during his journey.  The movie had a fight scene involving MGR taming a  "ferocious tiger” ~ I had to accompany a group of friends – and the movie was seen in a ‘Touring talkies’[do not remember the name or did it not have a name at all ?] aka Tentu Kottai ~ the prominent features of the theatre were : there was ‘floor class (tharai tickettu) and bench class’; people would even fall asleep on the floor; as the film runs 4 reels or so, they would stop, switch on the lights, rewind the reel and then put the next reel on the machine – a good 5 min break or so – and as you try to stretch your leg, you may suddenly feel a street dog running hither and thither !

There is always sophistication too .. ..  a  new concept cinema has opened in Switzerland in which viewers recline in double beds rather than traditional seats. The 'VIP bedroom' screen opened  recently  inside Cinema Pathé in the northwesterly municipality of Spreitenbach near the Swiss-German border. While they hope to entice fans of home-streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, cinema operators waved away concerns about hygiene and inappropriate activity taking place during the screenings.   The VIP bedroom in the newly opened Pathé cinema in Spreitenbach, Switzerland features 11 double beds with electronically adjustable headrests.  Other VIP experiences include a theatre with double sofas  as well as a 350-capacity IMAX screen.    

MailOnline quotes Venanzio Di Bacco, CEO of Pathé Switzerland, as telling  local news website 20 minuten that the sheets will be changed between every single film, and that the design is tried and tested.  'The hygiene aspect is very important to us,' he is quoted as saying.  He added that 'The offer is unique in Switzerland. But we tested the concept abroad and had no problems so far.'  The children¿s cinema area (pictured) features beanbags, a slide and a ball pit and costs 14.50 francs (£11) per child.

Cinema Pathé in the northwesterly municipality of Spreitenbach near the Swiss-German border officially opened on Thursday 9 May 2019.  A ticket costs 49 francs (£37) [Rs.3500 approx] and includes free food and drink for the film, as opposed to 19.50 francs £15) for the regular tickets.

Intresting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th May 2o19.

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