Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Oct 09, 2006
Google



Metro Plus Delhi
Published on Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Friday Review | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

The show is off

After Plaza and Rivoli, it is time for Odeon to have a new look


There was a time when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to come to watch films here, without any security

PHOTO: V. SUDERSHAN

INTERMISSION The façade of Odeon theatre

The good old Connaught Place will never be the same again. After Plaza and Rivoli, it is time for the Odeon to go under the hammer to have a new look. Zindaggi Rocks is going to be the last film to be played in the 854-seat theatre. "Once it is ready, Odeon is going to be the first multi-screen multiplex in Connaught Place. Right now it is likely to have two screens but talks are still on with the architects," says M.L. Sharma who has been serving the theatre as manager, when it was last renovated in 1963. "All the CP theatres came up in 1936. Odeon was special because it used to play English films for six months," informs Sharma. He reminisces the days when directors used to have their favourites. "Earlier one film was released at only one theatre. Raj Kapoor brought in a new trend when he started releasing his film simultaneously at Moti, Westend and Regal. Odeon was popular with B.R. Chopra and Navketan Films. Waqt and Guide were some of the biggest hits that the theatre has seen."

When Amitabh Bachchan's Don was released, he says, the crowd at the ticket window swelled up to the nearby red light. This hardly seems possible when the new version hits the screens this Diwali. "These days multiplexes squeeze everything out of the film in the first three days by running as many shows as possible. Earlier a film used to remain fresh for three-four months." This he says is the prime reason for going for the multiplex. "Besides today people have good theatres in their vicinity. They don't want to travel a distance to watch cinema because of parking and law and order problem. There was a time when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to come to watch films here, without any security. Today when a celebrity comes there is a security drill causing problems to the general public."

Whistling crowd

He rubbishes the claims that multiplex phenomenon bloomed because the elite class didn't want to see films with the whistling crowd. "I have seen boys and girls of decent families whistling. Whistling for your favourite actor or actress has its own charm. As for decency, a rickshawallah doesn't want others to whistle when he goes out to watch the film with his wife."

As the prices will rise in the new avatar, Sharma agrees the lower strata will suffer. "When I joined here the ticket rates ranged from Rs.1.20 to 4.80. Even today, if you have 30 rupees in your pocket you can watch the film at Odeon. But once it reopens, hopefully in six months, it will have a flat rate. I believe they will still watch here, only the frequency might change."

ANUJ KUMAR

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Friday Review | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright © 2006, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu