Hyderabad has come a long way in terms of movie halls, theatres and multiplexes. I remember the time when Sangeet Cinema in Secunderabad was the most happening hall in the city. It was pretty much the only place that showed good English movies and had a decent crowd. The sandwiches were excellent too.. I remember watching Jurassic Park at Sangeet.. They went all out and decorated half the parking lot with huge fake dinosaurs.. I was in school and it was great fun back then..
Sangeet also happens to be the place I first smoked a cigarette. Unsuccessfully, I might add..
1. It was too windy to light the blasted thing and
2. I was sure that the parking attendant would recognize me the next time I was there (with my family) and then tell everyone what I’d been up to.
Anyway, enough about Sangeet. Its been torn down and from what I hear, the management is buidling a multiplex in its place.. I wait eagerly.. Secunderabad really needs some action..
Another place thats been around for donkey’s years in Secunderabad, is Lamba theatre. Over the years, Lamba has screened soft porn classics like Qaatil Mashooka, Hello Sundari and Bedroom mein burning story.. They also screen a lot of old English crap..
In spite of the multiplex boom, there are still a bunch of halls doing good business in town.. Maheshwari, Parameshwari, Tarakarama, Ramakrishna etc. Most of these are in and around Abids in Hyderabad.. I love to catch the Salman starrers in these halls.. First day, first show if possible.. People in this city love Salman Khan.. Heck, they worship him in some places.. The crowd is a lot of fun.. Catcalls, whistles, cheers and unique Hyderabadi insights into Sallu bhai’s intimate personal life.. Its quite an experience..
I remember watching Tere Naam on the day it released.. All of the above happened plus a bonus! Some random dude climed onto the balcony rail and started dancing to one of the numbers .. Shortly after the second verse, he lost his footing and landed head first into someone’s lap in the dress circle nine feet below.. Nobody got seriously hurt, but everyone laughed their asses off into the interval..
I almost forgot about the ancient Sterling and Skyline halls in Himayatnagar.. I watched a lot of stuff there when I was in junior college.. I’d like to go again just for old times’ sake..
Coming to the present day scenario, there are four major multiplexes in the twin cities – Prasad’s, PVR, Big Cinemas and Cinemax.. (Cine Planet in Medchal doesn’t qualify as a major multiplex in my book).
Prasad’s is pretty much the pioneer here.. They have five regular screens and one IMAX screen.. The huge IMAX screen rocks.. I loved watching the Dark Knight on it.. The seating, snacks etc. are all good but what I like the most is the sound system they have in place.. Very good indeed.. The only down side with Prasads is that its too crowded nowadays..
Everytime I watch a movie here, it feels like the entire world and its uncle have come too..
Big Cinemas (formerly known as AdLabs) is located in Ameerpet.. They share building space with Big Bazaar and are located pretty well. There used to be a Gold Spot factory in the place it occupies now.. Big Cinemas is good once you get there.. The building is a piece of crap and is filthy as hell.. The elevators dont work and parking is a huge, HUGE hassle.. I’ve had serious trouble with this in the past.. Real minus point there.. but like I said, once you’re in, its all good.. four screems, comfy seats, decent audio and all the rest of the jazz..
Cinemax is situated bang opposite the LV Prasad Eye Hospital in Jubilee Hills.. Four screens and a great location (for me at least)! I went there for the first time last week.. I watched Raaz 2 and was unconfortable throughout the film.. No, Emraan Hashmi’s goofy mug had nothing to do with it.. The seats were the problem.. They’ve really goofed up here.. Tough, hard seats which just don’t let you get comfortable.. I might as well have watched the movie astride an irritable camel..
And finally.. PVR Hyderabad – in my opinion, the best place to watch a movie in Hyderabad.. Great location, five screens, plush seating, good food courts and real value for money.. All of the plexes above charge 100 bucks for a ticket, but PVR Hyderabad truly gives you more bang for buck.. I’ve watched many movies here and have always come away happy with the whole experience..
Ticketing is easy too.. While they dont seem to have a tie up with Bookmyshow, they have their own website – www.pvrcinemas.com and also have cool ticketing kiosks here and there too.. The fact that they’re located in the Hyderabad Central building is a big asset as well..
I know the GVK One Mall will have an INOX theatre in it and am keen to experience it when it opens its doors for business but for now folks, PVR Hyderabad is at the top of my list..
Over and out.