A mobile hope for cinema in Assam

Cinema halls in the State have declined from 160 about 20 years back to 38 halls

March 28, 2014 12:46 am | Updated May 19, 2016 12:12 pm IST - GUWAHATI:

In an effort to popularise Assamese cinema, a production company has come out with a novel idea of introducing mobile theatres. The 500-seater travelling theatre has a screen that is 15 feet high and 35 feet wide, a high definition projector and a surround sound system. It has all the amenities of a modern cinema including a generator, all enclosed under a single tent. The theatre has been travelling since its introduction on March 21 in Dergaon in Jorhat district in to pull the 79-year old Assamese film industry out of a two-decade long crisis.

“One of the reasons behind the crisis gripping Assamese film industry is that the number of cinema halls in the State have declined from 160 about 20 years back to 38 halls. Assamese films are screened only in 23 halls. However, cine-goers do not like to go to these old cinema halls because of the poor ambience. As a result the producers of Assamese cinema fail to recover the money spent in making one film. It is in this backdrop that we have introduced this touring cinema hall to take Assamese cinema to the viewers’ doorstep, Deba Borkotoky, proprietor of N.K. Productions, who has launched this touring cinema hall, told The Hindu.

There are 22 persons that have been engaged in running the touring cinema hall. “All we need is 5,000 square feet of open space and little help from a local club or organistion to arrange it,” he added.

In the opening commercial tour , four Assamese movies—Hiya Diba Kak¸ Jiya Jurir Subash¸ Bandhon and Janmoni have been screened. “The response is very good,” said Mr. Borkotoky.

Award winning filmmaker Sanjib Sabhapandit is also hopeful of the touring cinema hall making a difference for the crises-ridden Assamese film industry.

“Most of the cinema halls are dirty, poorly lit, give out a foul smell and have an obsolete sound system. Besides, the hall owners pass on the entire burden of publicity on the producer. As the Assamese cine-lovers do not go to the halls because of poor ambience, let a cinema hall with the right ambience for entertainment go to them. This will help Assamese cinema industry to survive,” added Mr Sabhapandit.

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