Monday, October 12, 2009

A Different Movie Going Experience

This weekend, I went out for a Hindi movie for the first time since I moved to the States. Not being in the Tri-State area, (For the uninitiated, that's where you'd find the largest number of Indians in the US. Apparently the city of Edison in New Jersey is called 'Little India' and you can find sari shops and chaat waalas and what have you over there. Manhattan is also host to Diwali melas and other such festivities.) it is a big deal for me to find a Hindi movie running in the neighbourhood, one that I would want to watch. I wonder why these folks are so enthusiastic about the likes of Kambakht Ishq, Do Knot Disturb and What's Your Rashee?, but well, never mind.

So I found Wake Up Sid running at a small theatre that's about two miles from home. I think the hall where I watched it had a capacity of about two hundred people, and the other halls in the building seemed to be of comparable sizes. I think it was one of the smallest movie halls I've been to. But I think it makes perfect sense for a sparsely populated suburban residential area like ours. Random fact: The state of Massachusetts has about half the population of Delhi, and about twenty five times the area. You get the idea. Anyway, I know I'm digressing. I was more than surprised to see a relatively empty parking lot and corridors at a movie theatre on a weekend. But well, by now I'm pretty much used to the idea that Americans like to spend their weekends and their evenings in the peace and quiet of their homes, unlike us Delhiites, who take a certain amount of pleasure in adding to the crowd at already overcrowded malls. But even more surprising was the fact that there were no ushers, nobody to check tickets. Well, the box office counter was a position that you couldn't get past without the guy at the counter catching sight of you. But there's nothing to stop you from watching a different movie rather than the one you bought tickets for, or watching both of them one after the other. But it doesn't seem like people do that kind of thing.

Multiplexes that I've seen around here have a much simpler scheduling system than the ones in Delhi. For instance, this one has twelve screens. They will run twelve movies. No more, no less. One screen for one movie, and a small poster of the movie outside the door. It's a much cleaner approach, and it has a certain amount of appeal to it, though, of course, the PVR folks in India are probably optimising things for themselves.

I think this has turned into a rather long rant on a subject of little or no consequence to anyone but myself. But that's why it goes on my blog. So I will save my musings on the actual movie for another post.

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