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Old 25th June 2015, 10:38   #1
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Default Your Cinema/Theater Experience!

This thread is all about your experience at a movie theater. Not to discuss or rate a movie. For that, we have the following threads:

The English Movies Thread (No Spoilers Please)

The Hindi Movies Thread

The Regional movies thread!

I used to love going to the theater to catch a movie. Over the years, I have been doing a lot less of this. Save for the movie premieres the company organizes for our own movies, I watch no more than 3 movies in a year, on the big screen. Quite a few factors that discourage the trip to the movie screen. Off late, it has been the cost of watching a movie. I was gung ho when Jurassic World was headed to the screens. Checked on the web to book tickets for the weekend and they were selling for Rs. 900! I was shocked. That means close to Rs. 3500 for a trip to the movies if I take my wife, my 3 year old and mum along. Off course, that amount includes a small snack and parking. It is still a lot. Intermissions, subtitles and smoking adverts are things I hate too. You may also have to deal with folks with zero etiquette. Read that as blaring cell phone ring tone. Then there is the headache of reaching the cinema. Weekend traffic in my city is sometimes worse than the daily office commute. With the advancement of home theater, crazy speeds offered by the ISP and the the ability to down load (Illegally) high definition content really fast, I see less of a reason to head to the theater. I will admit the home theater experience is nowhere as good as watching a movie at a theater. Off late, I have also noticed blu ray releases coming out pretty quick for which I don't mind paying if the movie is a good one.

Anyway; I am moving away from the topic of discussion. The cinema experience. I'll talk about the few I have visited.

Urvashi Cinema's. The usual hang out for our movie premieres. It is also the only place where the entire office with their families, guests and house keeping staff can be accommodated in one go. Possibly the biggest screen there is in my city rigged to the loudest sound system ever. Couple of years ago they upgraded to a Meyer sound system. Do carry a pair of ear plugs as stand by, cause when it gets loud, it gets really loud to the extent that you can feel air being pushed on you by those massive sub woofers hidden somewhere. The screen and projection is good too. Just make sure you don't watch a 3D movie here cause they are still on active shutter glasses. The glasses are heavy and screen brightness reduces by 50%. Air conditioning gets a little loud and is sometimes set too cold. Urvashi is an old school cinema and they have managed to keep it in good shape. Pricing of tickets on the weekends goes no higher than Rs. 400. Parking is a bit of a concern. Getting in and out will be a little slow. There are folks regulating flow of traffic so chaos is kept to a minimum. Urvashi have their own little restaurant where you can order fast food too. Reasonably priced.

INOX in Garuda Mall. I watched Skyfall on Screen 2 and I won't be heading here anytime soon for another movie. It is a small compact theater with an age old film projection system. The movie was playing off a film reel that appears to have been reused from a 50 year old batch. Sound was average, picture was horrible. For a new movie release, I was wondering how the reel picked up so many scratches and how can a place like INOX screen a movie like this. I spoke to the manager during intermission on poor picture quality and there was nothing he could do. It is time they introduced the concept of refunds if the cinema experience is poor. I know this will be misused as a facility. Parking is no problem as it is located in a mall. Getting out can be a little tricky for a big car that is also not very good with its turning radius. INOX was also the first time I had to tell someone to stop yapping while the movie was playing. As usual, I was asked “What is your problem bro?”. I stayed quiet. What else can you do.

PVR Cinemas, Phoneix Market City. Off late, our movie premieres have been at this location due to ease of organizing. This is great place to watch a movie. Once again, this is a compact theater. A bright vivid screen that does no look dull even in 3D and its passive so the glasses are light weight. Sound is good too and volume levels are well controlled. Legroom was limited. The food menu is also pretty good and it is much more than your usual popcorn. Trouble is, after the screening is done, one look around you and you will wonder for a moment if you are in a garbage dump. Folks just can't keep their area clean or they don't care cause they know they don't have to clean up the mess they left. Yes; my very own colleagues and their families made a mess of the place too. Sad. I have observed this scenario a lot more at this screen more than any other place I have visited. The good thing about watching a movie here is, once you are done, you can head to the mall or a concert that happens once in a while. If you are averse to crowds (I am, except for a metal concert), then this is no place for you. Stay away, especially on weekends. Parking can be a nightmare. A colleague was stuck in the parking lot for two hours after a Arijit Singh concert that ended at 1030pm. He got out of the mall parking well past midnight.

Gopalan Cinemas, Old Madras Road. I went to watch Kingsman with my mother. We went for the last show of the evening on Friday. I went to the mall, as it is expected that you find the screen within the mall. That was not the case. It was outside the mall. A distance of about 300 meters away. We left the car at the mall and walked as I was not sure of parking. Turns out, parking was very much available though limited in number of cars and two wheeler's that can be parked. The cinema is also connected to a small grocery shopping joint. The road leading to the cinema is narrow. Once again, a nice compact theater with good projection and sound. Limited legroom was my only problem. The biggest bonus was they did not screen any of those disgusting 'No Smoking' ads and no subtitles. Yaay. We were lucky with the crowd too. It felt unusually quiet at some point. I am surely going back here to watch a movie.

Mukunda Theatre in Banaswadi. The only theater in the state of Karnataka to feature Dolby Atmos. Surprised? Yeah; you should. Looking at the location of the place won't encourage you to go watch a movie. Looks more like a shady joint. Far from it. This theater is certified in the sound department by Dolby Labs. There is nothing fancy or luxurious about this place. Buy your tickets (Rs.300 highest), go watch the movie and leave. I went to watch Avengers; Age of Ultron. I'll admit, the only reason I went for it was for the Atmos experience. Unfortunately; I don't think the movie was recorded in Atmos or Mukunda did not have an Atmos copy. I'll say this, the dozen Atmos demo tracks they played was convincing enough from a technology stand point. There was one demo of rainfall. Only sound, no picture. Ever walked through a forest when it is raining? For those who have, that is exactly how it felt, except that you weren't getting wet. Super realistic experience. Someone whistled from up in the balcony which is quite normal for a place like Mukunda. I looked up and behind, a second later the screen comes alive with a animated character whistling and with the sound now coming from the front. The character says “Over here”. Almost everyone was looking behind. I don't know what projection system they use. It was superb even in 3D (passive). The screen was bright and colors were vivid. Food is limited to popcorn, some soft drinks and puffs. Food for two will cost no more than Rs. 100. Loads of leg room between the seat rows. You don't have to push your legs under your own seat if someone has to pass. There is only one problem. Parking is limited to no more than 10-15 cars and two wheelers are parked back to back. Once you get it, you can forget about getting out until the movie is over. For those living close to this area, make sure you visit Mukunda.

This sums up my limited cinema experience. I'd like to hear from you folks on the various cinemas you have visited. I've heard a lot about the cinemas in Chennai. Supposed to the best and most up to date on technology. Studio 5 had chandeliers back in 2000-2002. The best part being, any and every movie on any day can't be priced no more than Rs. 120, even for the best seats in the house. This is an incredible move by the state government. Something like this may just renew my interest in stepping out for a movie more often.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 26th June 2015 at 10:28. Reason: Adding the regional movies thread link. :)
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Old 26th June 2015, 10:30   #2
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Default Re: Your Cinema/Theater Experience!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Shifting Gears section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th June 2015, 11:02   #3
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Going to 'Inside Out' movie at Sathyam cinemas (for the first time) in Chennai this Sunday. Will post my experience after that. I have experienced ATMOS technology when I was in USA and it is an out of the world experience.

8 years in Chennai and this is my first visit to Sathyam

Prarthana Drive-in This is very close to where I stay & nearer to the beach as well and it is a pleasant experience everytime no matter how bad the movie is. The sound is at hearable levels and not raised to pierce one's ear drums in the name of effects. The place will be crowded and a lot of action will go on in the theater as well but to sit in the open ground with the sun still giving out a little shine with the sea breeze is an experience one should have at least once in their life.

The food given during the interval is OK (maybe good) and you can have your dinner there. There are many choices available and food is served to where you stay and money is collected later.

Getting a good seat is tricky as big cars will be pushed to the back and one would have to face the obvious 'Bad Drivers' on the road pulling their stunts here as well.

But to enjoy the sea breeze and spend sometime with the family watching the movie is reason enough for a repeated visit to this theater.

Edit: Great thread BTW. I will later post about my experiences at other theaters I have visited so people can have it as a last resort (it was bad).

Last edited by SchumiFan : 26th June 2015 at 11:04.
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Old 29th June 2015, 12:58   #4
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Default Re: Your Cinema/Theater Experience!

I am a regular movie goer whenever I am in India. And ever since PVR opened in Lulu Mall Kochi, that is where I go.

While it is not exactly near to my home, the regular Volvo local buses on the NH 47 gives me an alternate to driving. I have always found the movie complex well maintained and prices in PVR Kochi are never exhorbitant. I normally go for either the shows around 11 AM or 2 PM so that I can combine with an early/late lunch and a ticket has cost an average of 150 Rs only which is very reasonable. And with 10 screens there are frequent screenings of popular movies, as many as 6 to 8 a day. They are also very child friendly and my kid loves going there.

The best thing is that located in Lulu mall, you can have a complete day out with lots of food options in the mall including the very popular Paragon. There is also a good hyper market as well. Parking is also well organised as far as I can see but I have not chanced it late evenings.

Carnival Cinemas in Angamaly is nearer for me but I am more than happy with PVR at Lulu and has not visited Carnival which is located in the KSRTC bus station complex.
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Old 29th June 2015, 15:59   #5
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Default Re: Your Cinema/Theater Experience!

Most movies in my family are at PVR Phoenix. Can't beat the location (close by), valet parking convenience, choice of movies and the recently-added lounge seats (last row). Sure helps that it has lots of restaurants for dinner options.

But if it's a movie that I know will be awesome...say like Rush or PK, I always drive down to PVR Kurla's Gold Class (sample image). An unmatched theatre experience. I'm not just talking about the large comfy couches or the excellent legroom, but even small things like attentive service, your own sliding table for food and super-clean restrooms.
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Old 1st July 2015, 17:29   #6
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Default Re: Your Cinema/Theater Experience!

My experiences of theatres in Chennai

Escape Cinemas (Multiplex) - Express Avenue mall - We've been here very few times. But this being one of the latest has plush interiors and great sound. Has great snack counter and clean toilets. This is in one of the best shopping malls in town and has great access for food nearby as well.

Sathyam Cinemas (Multiplex) - Most of my movies in college were here. The best theatre in town during the period. Highlight was the Rs.10 first row seats. The only place where we were on the first row was here. It still is one of the best after numerous upgradations. Was there a month back for a tamil horror movie.

Luxe (Multiplex) - Phoenix Mall - The best in Chennai. Great movie going experience with superb ambience, sound and video. Parking is difficult as in it takes atleast 10 min to find a parking space during weekends. Imax screen yet to be operational though. Shopping - no problem, food - no problem. Recently been frequenting here for food at Nando's and movies.

Palazzo - Forum Vijaya Mall - Yet to be opened and also has a Imax. This and the above theateres are all part of Sathyam Cinemas. They are probably on a mission to give us the best movie experience possible. Love these cinemas and am waiting for Palazzo as this is close to my home.

Prarthanan Drive In - ECR - Probably the only drive in in India and very close to coastline. Lying down and looking at a giant screen or the stars above if the movie is boring. No other theatre can come closer to this experience. This is where my kid enjoys as she has enough place to dance for the songs or roam around. If it rains you can still watch the movie sitting in car. Sound and video are at max decent considering this is a open air theatre. Average snack counter and below average toilets are the spoilers here.

Mayajaal Cinemas (Multiplex - 16 screens)- ECR - It used to be an experience in itself to go here. The first multiplex with movies and games in Chennai (I think). The complex is not maintained properely and the audio, video and seats are just ok. This the the only theatre in chennai where you can walk in buy tickets and watch Rajnikanth movie first day. This is our last option as it is on other side of my home.

AGS - OMR - Good theatre spoiled by the vacant mall. Pretty much nothing can be done before or after cinema here.

Inox National - Chandra metro mall - Virugambakkam - Compared to other Inox around india , this is a let down. Though the video, audio and seats are good, the ambience and poor snacks needs huge improvement. But we frequent here as this is hardly 2 minutes from our home.

PVR - Ampa Skywalk - Been there once. It was the first movie after marriage. So dont remember much about the theatre except for the roof top parking.

The best part of watching movies in Chennai is the max cost of ticket is INR 120 and lowest at INR 10.
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