Single Screen Theatres to Multiplex, Where Our Cinema Culture Stand Today?

single-screen-theatre-india
Regal Theatre, Delhi – Adaptor- Plug via Flickr

As we know Cinema is a medium which must be catered to the needs of all sections of the society. It is to be noted that single screen theatres are either shutting down or are being converted into multiplexes which are cropping up rapidly throughout the country. Infact there are many cine lovers who actually love to have their cinematic experience in single screen theatres as they claim to get the nostalgic feel which was once offered by Metro, Globe, Lighthouse, Chaplin, Tiger, etc. Those were the days when people used to flock towards these theatres to enjoy the cinematic experience. Even when one roams around these streets, one can still sense the lost glory of these theatres. Considering the affordability factor, watching movie in multiplexes is quite a luxury for a large section of our society where the ticket prices are in hundreds. However, long queues on Fridays in front of single screen movie theatres with typical pink and green low grade paper tickets in hand along with whole ground nuts and few snacks are a rare sight these days. 

Rex Cinema, Bangalore – Pee Vee via Flickr

When all these single screen theatres are gradually getting converted into multiplexes, a question lingers in our minds, are multiplexes meant for all? Still a large section of the society is deprived of watching films as their affordability does not permit them to watch films at swanky multiplexes.  In this single screen theatre fiasco, many employees have lost their jobs and are looking for other alternatives to eke out their living. Many of them were associated with these single theatres from their young age and therefore it was painful for them to accept the fact that single screen theatres are gradually being destroyed. In this regard, celebrated film maker Kaushik Ganguly’s film Cinemawala is a tribute to the few existing single theatres, those are slowly having an untimely death.

Rex Cinema, Bangalore – Pee Vee via Flickr

The film centres around the life of a retired film exhibitor from a small town who is compelled to shut down his movie theatre as its celluloid projection standard becomes outdated with the advent of digital technology. He shows the plight of this film exhibitor, who was absolutely reluctant to shut down his theatre even he was incurring great financial losses. Truly, this film exhibits the sorrow state of single screen theatres in our country. However, in this dismal scenario it has to be kept in mind that along with the multiplexes which certainly offers comfortable movie experience and which are gradually denting the business of single screen theatres, efforts must be made to save the rest of the single screen theatres which still exist in our country as the magic of cinema is to be cherished by all sections of society.     

Trisha Mitra
Born in Kolkata I completed my Masters in English Literature from University of Calcutta and currently working as a teacher in a school under TIGPS, Kolkata. I love to write on topics like literature and culture, films, travelogues and social issues. My areas of interest include reading, travelling, music and photography.