Saturday, December 27, 2008

Joy of celebrating movies...

I was an year old when my mother started taking me to an open-air theater in our army cantonment to watch movies. I obviously don't remember most of the movies during those times but she would later tell me that unlike most kids I would not cry and be trans-fixed to the big screen. I believe my love for movies started during those chilly nights. Later when I grew up, we would goto movies every Saturday and my job would be to run to the ticket counter to get the tickets.

The first movie I remember watching was Superman. For a month after watching that movie, I would jump from our couches with a cape trying to save the imaginary world. One of my most memorable movie moment was when we were watching some Amitabh Bachchan's movie in an open-air theater and it started raining. The movie was about to end but everyone was so engrossed in the movie that we all held our chairs over our heads till the movie ended. There were some other funny moments during those open-air era. The screen during those times were put against an Army vehicle and there were times when the wind would blow off the screen and we would end up watching part of the movie on the Army vehicle.

Movies became a staple diet after those early days, although the cinema halls and later the multiplexes took out the romantic charm of watching movies like the old days.

So today when we watched an excellent movie Slumdog Millionaire in a 50's style single theater, Garneau theater, it transported me back to good ol' days of watching movies.

There was a certain charm at first waiting for the tickets in a chilly evening, then waiting for the curtains to open and ending the movie with a round of applause. The movie itself was worth all the applause but it was the warm ambiance of the theater that transported me back to the days when movies were celebrated.


Blogger Rain Girl said...

me first me first!!!! *dances around*

oh wowww - movie in rain - sounds so romantic. :D hai you are so lucky, kitna maza aata hoga na waise.and gosh, u rememeber ur first movie?? :P hehe badi sharp memory hai. chawanprash khate ho kya?

5:23 AM  
Blogger Colors said...

Aah! So you did get to see Slumdog Millionaire....isn't it a beautiful movie? I loved the Bollywood dance in the end...nice touch!

V used to tell me his stories about the army movie open theatre from his childhood. He got to watch movies for free since his dad was among the people who used to organize the screenings :) A neighbouring army cantonment near my grandma's home also used to have one of them, but somehow I never got to go to one though my cousins used to frequent them. Sikkim still has yet to get multiplexes, though I've heard one is getting built.

I wanna go to an open drive-in theatre here, but even that we've not got a chance yet. But I have been to the old 50's style theatres, in Columbus and in Stamford. They look so similar to the one in your pic. And I know exactly what you mean about the charm of watching movies in such theatres :)

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gold and silver already went to the others.. bronze perhaps??

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never been to open air theater, but I could always see one from distance near Bandra station.. now a days and would imagine how would that feel to watch a movie in open air. Surely multiplexes have changed the way we used to enjoy our films. the ever raising ticket prices make me wonder how can most of the people afford it?

10:44 PM  
Blogger Mrinalini said...

you watched it? post a review na please :)
and i have always wanted to go to a drive-in, like they do in the Archies comics :)
man, nostalgia is one thing that makes you happy and sad at the same time, isnt it? :)

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it me again.. i have come back to your blog after watching this movie.I liked it a lot.. but i was very disturbed to see some of the scences:( it was a reality check for most of us..

9:15 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So you too are one of tose who believe that the multiplexes have taken the charm out of a movie viewing? welcome to the club... agreed that the they are a lot more comfortable, the cola and popcorn is free (included in the ticket) and the crowd may make you feel a lot better.... but it still is a small screen... nothing like Shah Rukh's face blown up a million times when he calls Kajol into his arms in DDLJ... sigh! I miss the real BIG SCREEN...

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I' don't remembering watching films in open air but many documentaries.

You also reminded me the old days............ I also misses watching films in the traditional old cinema halls.

My Di used to very fond of films and she used to go to see film every Saturday morning 9-12 show at concession price as the film changes every week. And she used to take me with her. As being young I had not to pay for ticket. I used to sit on the arms of the chair.

Watching cinema on Saturday became our habit later on and it continued till I came to this Metro City.

Not the pop corn but we used to eat mungfali :-)

A nostalgic post.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Chakoli said...


Even I heard it is a nice movie...
wen cud i watch it...

12:59 AM  
Blogger Ricky said...

rain girl - Yes, you first :D

I was a kid when I saw movie in the rain, so not that romantic for me at that time. But yes, those open-air theater days were fun. My parents have again joined local Army club and they have movies in open-air, so looking forward to that.

I have always hated Chawanprash :P

Colors - I loved the movie Slumdog Millionaire. It was a different experience all together.

If you guys are in Delhi when am there, I can arrange for an open-air movie (it has to be on a wednesday

12:33 AM  
Blogger Ricky said...

preeti - You can have platinum (kaunsa main asli main dena hain).

Open air theater has its own charm esp. on days when there is a nice breeze going on. Somehow movie-ticket prices in Delhi were always very high, so we were used to it. I am more surprised with the coke and popcorn prices inside :P

Mrinalini - The movie, Slumdog Millionaire is one of the best of the year. A review would ruin the whole movie-experience for you, believe me. Go watch it :D

You are absolutely right about nostalgia :)

12:39 AM  
Blogger Ricky said...

preeti - I am glad you liked it. The movie does asks some serious questions (without getting too serious). If a movie can make one think and talk about it then it has done its job...hasn't it?

anks - Are you talking about the famous bridge-scene (right before the palat scene) from DDLJ? :P

One of my best movie going experience was in Hyderabad which used to have single screen theaters with everything you mentioned and chandeliers and curtain-screens. I hope those are still there because the charm of watching movies in those big screens is unmatched.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Ricky said...

juneli - I haven't watched a good documentary on silver screen for ages except for couple on IMAX theaters here.

Your movie going experience with your Di is truly a memory to cherish for you. I am sure those movies influenced your love for good movies and music later on in life :)

chakoli - Go watch it asap. It has released in India, officially :D

12:50 AM  
Blogger AshenGlow said...

Iv never got to watch movies other than the ones that came on TV when i was a kid. That too was a rare phenomenon. But yeah the first one that i saw was in an open air theatre. A mallu movie. I would have been a 7-8 year old then. But i still remember every scene that i laughed at... like there was no tomorrow :)
Joy of celebrating movies... rather, joy of celebrating through movies... unforgettable indeed.

Nice blog you have. Am glad i tripped by...


9:09 PM  

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