Movies

Get your single screen fix at these renovated theatres in Bengaluru

They have undergone a complete overhaul last year, from seating to screen and sound

Cauvery theatre, Sankey Road

Established in 1972 by Narasimaiah, a businessman, it is now handled by his son Prakash N who has grown up around the theatre and can be found there every day. While the first film that played at Cauvery was the Dr Rajkumar-starrer Bangaaarada Panjara, the longest running at 27 weeks is Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

Says Prakash, “Previously, we renovated the theatre in 1995. Then we renovated again in January 2019. Apart from the seats, the screen was changed to silver screen to play 3D films, projector was changed to Christie 4K, and the sound system was changed to Dolby Atmos.”

While the theatre, which at present has a capacity of 1212, started with screening Kannada films, Prakash says that now “films of all languages are played”. Right now, the Rajinikanth-starrer Darbar is playing at the theatre.

On whether he has any favourite film that has played at Cauvery, he laughs, “Nothing like that. Every film is my favourite.”

Stating that the advent of multiplexes, has affected single screen theatres, he says, “Day by day, collections are coming down. We have to improve and provide facilities. That is also why we renovated the theatre again last year. People think of single screen theatres as something ordinary. So, it is difficult to get people to come.”

Get your single screen fix at these renovated theatres in Bengaluru

Mukunda theatre, Maruthi Sevanagar

Perhaps Mukunda theatre’s renovation is the most visible with gleaming titles at even the point of entry - the box office. Established by N Muniswamappa in 1976, the theatre is now run by his grandson G Venkatesh Reddy.

While in the beginning, the theatre screened many Tamil films (catering to the large Tamil population in the area), the theatre now screens films of all languages, says Bharani V, representative, who has worked at Mukunda for the last eight years.

Mungaru Male was the longest running film at 100 days. Other films that have done well include Indian, Padayappa, Baahubali 2 and Avatar.”

The theatre was closed for renovation in February 2019 and reopened in June. “Except for the building, A to Z was changed,” laughs Bharani. “Apart from Harkness silver screen, 4K projector was installed, and sound was changed to Dolby Atmos. While seating capacity was initially 814, after renovation it is 761 as we got bigger seats.

On the challenges that single screens are facing, Bharani is firm.

“When we are providing good sound and projection, people will come here only. Even though there is a mall five minutes away, people will come here if we have the facilities. Additionally, ticket prices are lower so it is possible for a wider section of people to come and watch films here.”

Get your single screen fix at these renovated theatres in Bengaluru

Sri Radhakrishna theatre, RT Nagar

Located on the busy main road in RT Nagar, the theatre which was established in 1999, underwent a complete makeover in June 2019.

Seated in his office, Thimmaiah AM, manager for the last 20 years, says, “It was required so everything was changed.” Providing the details, Sathyanarayana, cinema operator, says, “Now, we have a Harkness silver screen which can play 3D films, the sound system was changed to Dolby Atmos (with ceiling speakers), the seats were refurbished and even the projector was changed to a Christie projector.”

Stating that the 738-capacity theatre plays films of all languages – Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and English, Thimmaiah says that Duniya and Mungaru Male were the longest running at 10 and eight weeks respectively. In fact, he adds, “We have also played The Lion King and The Avengers and not dubbed in any other language. We play films only in the original language.”

As for which films do well (at present, the audience is enjoying the latest Mahesh Babu film and making their excitement known), he says, “We see who are the top heroes and play their films. Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan…their films do well.”

On whether there are any challenges or struggles that single screen theatres such as Radhakrishna are facing, both Thimmaiah and Sathyanarayana are of one mind.

“We play films of all languages and so collections are good. We are not facing any competition from multiplexes.”

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:25:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/get-your-single-screen-fix-at-these-renovated-theatres-in-bengaluru/article30607308.ece

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