Of Movies, Masti and...Samosas

Aug 31, 2010

The famous website Wikipedia describes movie theatre as, “A venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures.” I disagree with that definition as its true meaning has been very different for me and my sister till date.

During school days, movie theatre for us would mean hot samosas, Pepsi, leaving early from school, watching the VICCO VAJRADANTI and Colgate advertisements before the movie, being guided towards our seats by the theatre employee with a torch, sitting in the balcony area, travelling by rickshaw and much more…

Whenever a movie releases, the reviews, the ratings, the performance are shown on television and people judge the movie based on that. But it’s never been the case for me and my sister. Watching a movie in a theatre has always been an experience in itself. After all, our Bollywood and Hollywood stars can be better viewed on a large projection screen than on our televisions at home.

It was the same case with my sister (Veena) as well. We would actually be excited days before our dad and mom took us to watch a movie. For Veena, the term meant slightly different. She best knew Movie Theatre as “SAMOSA THEATRE” as her ultimate target were the samosas sold over there. Girls her age were crazy about dolls and stuff, but she was crazy about samosas (only from the theatre). If given a few samosas, she would not disturb anyone for hours. And if dad would complement that with an ice cream, for us it was like finding kryptonite.

I, on the other hand, was excited about the fact that I could leave early from school. But then there was a hurdle. When my mother came to pick me up, my class teacher would narrate all my sins to her. But that confession would last barely a few minutes and then the fun would begin.

The journey to the movie theatre would begin.

We used to hire a rickshaw. During those days, rickshaw travel was indeed special. We would reach the theatre and make our way through the crowd to meet dad and my sister. My dad would say, “We’ve got balcony” and I would feel proud of my Senior Almeida. After climbing a few steps, we would open a big door and enter the dark auditorium. The theatre employee would guide us towards our seats with his torch and we would finally settle down just in time to watch the VICCO VAJRADANTI and COLGATE advertisements.

That was way back when malls didn't exist. The ticket used to cost Rs 25 for stall and Rs 40 for balcony. This was years ago.

But the concept of movie theatres has come a long way. We now have multiplexes, cinema cities, movie planets... we also have 3D, and even 4D movies. Some movie theatres are now equipped for digital cinema projection, doing away with the need to create and transport a physical film print.

Watching a movie at home and watching it in a theatre makes a big difference. Nowadays, literally everyone downloads movies on the internet to watch them on television or computer. Even I tried doing it, but honestly speaking it is not even close to the fun of watching movies in a theatre.

The best example of this is the famous Shahrukh Khan-Kajol starrer “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge”. Over the last 15 years, it has been running at a famous theatre called “Maratha Mandir” in Mumbai, and successfully too. Even today this movie gets 60-70% occupancy on weekdays and sometimes a houseful audience on weekends and holidays. It’s been a decade since the original DVD of this film released but even today people shell out a mere Rs 22 for balcony tickets, dress circle for Rs 20 and stall tickets for Rs 18.
Another good thing about watching a movie with family at a theatre is the feeling of being together with our loved ones. Very rarely do we get anopportunity to spend time as a family because of our hectic work schedules and other commitments.

Last week Veena came back from work and she was very tired. I informed her that I had made plans to go for a movie that day but as she was tired, I suggested that we cancel the plan. She stared at me for a second and then asked, “Will I get samosas there?” And the rest is history….

Robin Almeida - Archives:


by Robin Dyson Almeida
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Comment on this article

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Wed, Sep 01 2010

    Good article by Mr.Junior Almeida,
    While reading all the famous Advertisement of those days the Vicco Vajradanti, Colgate, Vicks Action, Ponds, Lyril, Hopkins echoed in my ears. During festivals and once or twice in a month going to watch movie with family was not only fun and masti it also kept the families bonds together and stronger also great entertainment to release stress. Samosas, Thums up or energy, ice cream and popcorns were great treat along with great entertainment. Nice stress release article.

  • Alban D Souza, Udyavara\Mumbai\Doha Qatar

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    Nice article of practical experience. Wah ! It reminded me of younger days in Mumbai, waiting eagerly for the week end or every 15 days to watch a movie in the theatre along with friends.It is good to watch ed good movies.It releases tension stress and pressure. I think it is with movie...,masti ...samosas as well as wadas enjoyed. I liked Romantic and Action movies. Yes Sholay is the best movie, and my favorite Hero and heroine none other than Amitabh Bacchan and Rekha of Bollywood and Richarad Gere, Sylvestser Stallone, Bruce Lee and Julia Roberts among the Hollywood.

  • vijay prabhu, Kundapur/Mississauga, Canada

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    Hey Robin, R U sure that costs for seing a muvies at the famous Maratha Mandir in Mumbai is a mere Rs 22 for balcony tickets, dress circle for Rs 20 and stall tickets for Rs 18? I thought that it would be around Rs 220/- for balcony tickets, dress circle for Rs 200/- and stall tickets for Rs 180/-. Would like your confirmation, because next time when I visit Mumbai, I will visit Maratha Mandir, see that movie and of course enjoy the samosas which your sister so loved to have! Keep up the good writing of articles!

  • veena almeida, mumbai

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    love you bro...your articles mean a lot to me...and they are jus bringing me closer to u...specially wen my d day is coming closer now heheheh.....

  • shalini salian, mangalore

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    Very nice article. reminded me of our childhood days. our house in bombay was surrounded by sharada, broadway and chitra talkies. we were allowed to watch three films in a year. i never missed even one jaya bhaduris films. my brother used to arrange samosas and popcorns for us. most of the time we used to wait for intervals so that bro could arrange eatables for us. those were the days. now when my daughter insists seeing movie in multiplex i avoid telling instead why not arrange CD and watch in house. somehow i feel old is gold.

  • Johnson Pinto, Neerude / Bangalore

    Tue, Aug 31 2010

    nice article Robin. It reminds me the days when we were watching movies in our favorite theaters Newchithra, central and suchithra. Among these Newchithra is still my favorite. I wont get that fun in the multiplexes like PVR, INOX

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