Last night I went to see a film at this old theatre in Thrissur. It is one of the few old style cinemas left, most of the other have been pulled down and replaced with huge air conditioned multiplexes.
I was warned repeatedly before we went that it was not a very good cinema, and that it was quite old. But as soon as we pulled up in front of it in the rickshaw I fell in love a little bit. These places don’t really exist anymore at home either, and there is something magical about going to see a film in such an old theatre.
We walked in and there was a foyer with a ticket office. We bought a ticket for upstairs, and walked up the stairs and into the hall. It was a huge hall, with two levels. No air conditioning meant that it was a little warm, but because it was so big there was enough air flow for it not to be uncomfortable. The seats were the old style bench seats that swing up when you stand up, and they were organised into narrow rows.
There is something really nostalgic about sitting in such an old theatre and waiting to watch a film. I feel as though I appreciate the whole experience a great deal more, becauseI’m filled with that amazement about the magic of the movies, which doesn’t happen when you are seated in a huge technologically advanced multiplex. Its that magic and amazement that the audience was reminded of in Hugo, and which has been lost with the advent of animation and box office hits.
Unfortunately, the movie we watched in such a magical setting was GI Joe. What a waste.