#TheatreLove: Watching movie in a theatre is quite a unique experience, says Balaji Tharaneetharan

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…

We used to live in Triplicane when I was young. When I was in Class two, we went as a family to watch My Dear Kuttichathan. My aunt and uncle had come from our native place, and I remember the entire family crowding into a single auto to go to Devi theatre. As a young boy, that theatre held a sense of wonder for me. It had a tall wooden statue, which you could see while climbing the winding stairs. Back then, I used to be awed by the fact that it’d look huge from the bottom and become small as one climbed the stairs and looked at it from the top. I was mesmerised by the 3D in My Dear Kuttichathan, as it was very well done. It gave an impression that everything was up for grabs right in front of my eyes.

I reached out a couple of times, ending up grabbing the head of the person before me, and my mom had to control me.

Albert theatre is close to heart for me as that is where we watched films the most as a family. My father was a booking clerk at Egmore station, and since this one was nearer to his workplace, we’d all go there. Everyone in our family is a Rajini fan, and we saw almost every Superstar film at this theatre. It was only Muthu that we saw in Devi as it did not release in Albert. When my father had night duty, we’d go watch the night show at Albert, go to the station and sleep in his office, and return home with dad in the morning.

There will always be people who would want to watch films in theatres. Did our love for home food go away because of pizza and burger? Watching a movie in the theatre is a unique experience. Ever since the advent of cable TV, there has been a talk about how theatres were on their last breath. But theatres only changed form, from single screens to multiplexes, and did not vanish. Theatres will continue to exist. That’s my prediction, and also my wish.