[First appeared on Saturday, December 10, 2005]
After ‘Fame’ at Hiland Park, the latest to join multiplex bandwagon is the proposed ‘Hind Plaza’, which will be a makeover for the Hind Cinema, located at Ganesh Avenue – Nirmal Chandra Street junction. In fact, Hind Plaza will have 2-screens, each sitting 400 viewers, plus add-ons like food court and shopping mall.
Movie-going is no longer a simple no-frill entertainment, ever since the first multiplex, Forum, on Elgin Road, opened its doors 2 years back. Apart from watching movies, the thrill of hanging out in lobby and eateries without spilling onto the road, has attracted youngsters in hordes. The other inevitable must-visit is the shopping mall, which is a part of every multiplex.
That the multiplex would become ‘rage’ was noticeable right from beginning. Yet the single-screen owners fervently opined that multiplexes are for rich people. Who else would pay exorbitant price for tickets? They missed the point that multiplexes are more than just watching movies.
And look what happened! Famous cinema halls of yesteryears – Globe, Lighthouse, Metro …- have closed down. Similar fate awaits many other single-screen halls in not-so-distant future. Unless they change over to what today’s people want.