Even as the central government has 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 catching their fave films at theatres and the magic of the movie hall…
I have watched several films at preview theatres as a child. Since my father (AL Azhagappan) is a producer, I would sometimes catch new films a couple of days before their release. One movie that I can’t forget is Michael Madana Kama Rajan — I watched it at watched at Mena Preview Theatre, and both Kamal Haasan sir and Rajinikanth sir were present at the screening. I was very young then, but I still remember laughing hard at almost every scene. Everybody was saying the movie will be a sure-shot hit. It was a very special film for me, and I also got a chance to shake hands with Rajini sir after the show ended.
Once I was old enough to go to theatres on my own, I watched FDFS of Baashha with my brother (actor Udhaya) and his friends. It was at Albert Theatre and the whole premises wore a festive look. What made that day special was that Ajith sir had also come for the same show. We spotted him walking down the stairs with his helmet in hand. I told my friends, ‘That’s Ajith sir, he has just done Amaravathi’. That was an amazing experience. The movie was so mind-blowing that we watched it again after two days!
But I don’t watch any of my films in theatres. I feel my job is over once my film releases. But I respect audiences’ views and so, I do theatre rounds to find that out. I remember standing outside theatres nervously when my debut film Kireedam released.
Though we can watch a film from the comforts of our homes today, nothing can match the theatre experience. Theatre multiplies emotions and elevates your mood. If you are watching a happy film, it makes you happier. A comedy film becomes funnier when you watch it with a crowd. I remember, people didn’t get up from their seats for a while after Deiva Thirumagal ended because they were wiping away their tears. Yes, we have to evolve and move ahead with time, but nothing can beat watching movies in theatres.