#TheatreLove: I do theatre rounds to see how people react to our films, says Premgi

Even as the central government announced that movie theatres can be opened from October 15 with 50 per cent occupancy, there is still uncertainty over how audience would embrace the new theatre experience. In this column, celebrities reminisce about their experience catching films at theatres and the magic of the movie hall…

Sharing this theatre experience, Premgi says, “I think I started watching movies extensively when I was 10 or 11. In the 80s, almost all the films had music by periappa (Ilaiyaraaja) and so, we would watch them at preview theatres. Yuvan (Shankar Raja) and I would sit in the front row. Films of Superstar (Rajinikanth), Ulaganayagan (Kamal Haasan), Prabhu uncle, Sathyaraj sir, Karthik sir, Ramarajan sir… most of them had music by periappa and so, the screening would become like one family show for us. The best part was, we would get to see the movies three days in advance!”

“One movie that I thoroughly had fun watching at a theatre was The Abyss. It was directed by James Cameron, and I think I had gone to Devi Theatre with anna (Venkat Prabhu) and friends to watch it. It was a new experience; most of the story was set underwater. Half way through the screening, there was a power failure and the audience started screaming. Chumma jolly-ku dhaan kathinanga, but adhuve vera level-a irundhudu. The show was houseful and everyone inside was hooting and screaming, and I joined them in the screamfest. Edhukku katharom-ne theriyama naanum kathinen. I also remember doing theatre rounds with my brother for all our films,” added Premgi.

“When Chennai 600028 released, we went to many theatres to see audience reaction and find out where they were clapping or where they felt bored. That routine continued with all of his other films, like Saroja and Mankatha. I make it a point to see my films directed by my brother in theatre because I know my character would have importance and I would like to understand how the audience reacts. Olinjirundhu dhaan paapen; I don’t sit and watch,” concluded Premgi.