Movie Madness in India
I had time to kill and headed to the local Forum Mall to stroll around and perhaps catch a film. With Bollywood being the largest output producer of films in the world, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
A short 5-minute rickshaw ride — I love these things (without doors they’re easy to get in and out of, and you can smoke during your ride) and I’d arrived; it cost eighty cents!
The mall was a big change from the local shopping district I toured yesterday. It was very modern, with all the western and worldwide labels you’d see in any mall in America; clothes from Lee, Wrangler, Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, mixed in with other traditional Indian fashions ; electronics such as Apple and Samsung, eateries such as KFC and Pizza Hut (I ate lunch at Pizza Hut and to my taste their menu was a step up from the U.S.A.), cafes and a food court with the Subway chain, Chinese and other stands as well.
They had a movie theater there (PVR), and among the Hollywood offerings was The Amazing Spider-man (which I had previously seen and
reviewed) and The Dark Knight Rises. I bought a ticket for the latter: R1200 (1,200 rupees), or about US$ 24, which seemed incredibly steep considering my lunch — consisting of soup, chicken quesadillas and a bottle of water — only cost me US$3, and my hotel was only US$30 a night.
However, this was unlike any theater I had ever been in — I’ve read about them (in Texas and even Moscow).
As I entered through the lobby doorway, I was struck by the lounge area of overstuffed club chairs and couches, though I couldn’t imagine why anyone would opt to hang out in a theater. Inside the movie room itself, there were only thirty-two seats; incredibly large, plush, wide chairs with a side table and individual controls for the chair; they even provided a pillow. The sound within was extraordinary, which for a partially deaf old man like me was welcome.
The lounge out front? That was there to relax in during the intermission. Attendants also came around to refresh any order you might have for drinks, snacks and/or food; “you can pay after the film” he said. Having just eaten shortly before, I ordered only a bucket of popcorn (R$120 = US$2.25); they also had sandwiches, and a wide array of other foods and appetizers that one would find at a restaurant.
So all-in, my day at the movies cost me US$26, which with popcorn and ticket was only about US$2 more than a ticket and popcorn at a New York theater, but was far more comfortable.
Moreover, as the lights came up for the intermission, I had a lovely chat with an Indian woman in the seat next to me; she provided some insight to the city, and recommended that I visit Mysore — only a few hours from Bangalore, but a nice tourist place she said, with a grand palace to see.
If and when I visit, I’ll you know what I find there.Tags: BangaloreIndiaPVRtravel