Saturday, May 23, 2009

Multiscreen opening

When it opened, thirty-seven years ago, it was one of the first public cinema theatres on Arcot Road. AVM's Rajeshwari was more of a preview theatre in those days, and Kamala Theatre filled the gap between Liberty Theatre and the studios at Vadapalani. With a capacity of almost a thousand seats, it was one of the better halls to watch a movie in; being at the edge of the movie industry's hub, there was also a chance of getting to see a star, too. The lobbies and the stairways used to be lined with all the industry bigwigs who had visited Kamala Theatre - actually, not just the bigwigs, there were photos of just about anyone. None of them had any signs, so it was a fun game to try and identify all the lesser lights of the industry, each time we went to see a movie there.

Filling a thousand seats, show after show is a huge challenge these days, and the hall is doing what it can to meet the challenge now. Even then, they are going with just one additional screen - with their plans of adding about 600 seats, the challenge of filling seats does not seem to have got any easier. Let us hope they continue to grace their walls with bits and pieces of Tamizh cinema history; that might yet prod me to go watch one (or two) more movies there!

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