Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Multiplex Experiences - PVRs

I experienced two multiplexes in the last couple of days. Both have greatly enriched me. I must share.

The PVR at Punjagutta is like a Treasure Hunt I once participated in - you realise it's not easy to find the treasure. Perhaps it is one way to keep us movie goers entertained. Despite having visited this architectural wonder many times, I am still lost about how to find my way to the movie theatres, and once I reach there, how to get out. There are many stairs and many lifts. Most of the lifts are too busy dong their own thing on other floors and do not come by to address your needs. Some lifts drop you off midway and then you find your way through food courts, stairwells etc. From the parking place to the movie theatres it always takes me twenty minutes to get to the theatre. The number of people running from one lift to another, taking the stairs etc meanwhile is not funny. You know families could get separated here like in Yaadon ki Baraat - some in the lift some on the stairs - and meet twenty years later. It's a near panic situation - like we have come early to catch the flight but there is a small traffic jam right here at the entrance and we cannot get there. On the way out of the movie you are ejected into some space and you pass by many possible exits, with no indication on how to go back to civilisation. I normally takes some stairs and hope they take me back to the ground after sometime - but not without moments of worry because it does seem like its going nowhere sometimes. At times it seems like we are travelling laterally instead of vertically, like we are headed into a parallel universe. I think that there might be many people who are lost in those stairs and lifts, trying to go up to the theatres or go down to the parking lot. Every time I get back to my car I thank my gods profusely. Solution: A small GPS system that we could hire for a few hundred rupees.

Yesterday I experienced the PVR at Banjara, earlier Cinemax. Now this complex was not very well maintained earlier and nothing has changed now. Somebody forgot to devise garbage disposal arrangements here so there is generous amounts of garbage lying about everywhere - parking, stairwell etc. The parking attendant took 30 bucks off me and told me to park anywhere. When I asked for a ticket, he shook his head like a stubborn schoolboy who has been asked to hand over his lollipop. When I insisted, he punched his machine hard in anger, scowled at me and threw the ticket into the car. How dare I ask? I feared for my car and went deep inside, away from his eyes. Who knows what he might do? When I parked I could sense rotten garbage - a huge, green plastic bag filled with some garbage lay close to my car. I quickly went up into the nice smelling, air conditioned parts.

Up on the theatre level I found that a tub of popcorn and a glass of Pepsi costs 450 bucks! 250? No. 450! They could as well sell that stuff on EMIs. I looked for any easy instalment schemes on refreshments and found none. I looked around to see how everyone else was faring but they all seemed to be picking up much more than a popcorn and a coke - the Indian economy is doing well (or they have the EMI scheme in place already and I don't know it yet). Is it possible that there are secret multiplex financiers who finance young kids movies, food, bowling etc because each outing cannot cost less than a couple of thousands at this rate? Is it possible that the parking lot attendant is part of that financing group? What do we have to pledge in return - organs? Anyway this PVR has a unique exit which takes you through garbage laden stairs (its like taking the back alleys of a bar in the old times after a late night out - be careful what you step on - something like a Shantaram tour minus the drug addicts). On the way out I noticed the plastic bag with garbage had now moved closer to the front tyre. Before it moved again, I quickly got into the car and zoomed off, keeping a wary eye for a moving garbage bag. There was a guy in the parking lot trying to reverse a BMW and he did everything but reverse - he got the wipers going, the headlights, the water spray everything. We waited patiently and then finally exited. Luckily there was no bag in tow unless it morphed into something else and attached itself to my poor car. I did not dare check last night.

I looked back at the multiplex. There were many people rushing into it. Where are the single screens? 

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