Multiplex & traditional Cinema Halls... a different experience indeed

Foreword: I am not a movie buff, nor do I work for a cinema house. I am just an average movie goer, who likes seeing 'brainless' comedy, and family sentiment movies - preferably in Malayalam. Not that I don't love movies in other languages, but I usually prefer watching them on TV. I am one movie goes who like to watch movies in an air-conditioned theatre, and that rules out watching movies at my hometown - for the fact that we don't have an airconditioned movie hall here!

To the best of my knowledge, there is only one proper Multiplex in Kerala - the Cinemax multiplex at Oberon Mall, Kochi. The multiplex was opened earlier this year, and has since offered a very different movie experience to movie goers. I have heard people often terming the high ticket charges of Multiplexes a daylight robbery - but, is that true?

IMHO, No! The Multiplexes offer clean halls to passengers - each hall is cleaned before every show, and they ensure that no layovers of the previous show remain. The seats are comfortable, the sound system works perfectly and the screening is of high-quality. During interval, one is greeted to clean toilets - and the "No Smoking" norm is strictly implemented. You need not mob the cafeteria - the food comes to your seat.. and so on are the attractions. But what makes me think the multiplexes are seriously value for money is the fact that one gets a really clean hall - you need not sit in the midst of garbage put back by people from the earlier show!

I recently had two cinema experiences - one at Cinemax (Kochi) and the other at a very famous cinema hall in Kochi (on MG Road - those familiar with the area would guess out the hall soon). The Cinemax experience was picture perfect - a small hall, limited audience, comfortable seats, carpeted floor, an extremely clean hall, etc. The experience at the cinema hall on MG Road: the ambience at hall was good, the seats too were good. But the hall was very dirty - at the end of the show (which was full) the hall resembled a war field with litter every where - plastic covers, empty tetra-packs (which once had fruit juice), papers, empty bottles etc. The litter was much more than what would be generated in one single show.

Multiplexes are certainly the way ahead to attract family audiences. Many families are turned off by the garbage filled movie halls, non-availability of good quality halls - with the right ambience. Multiplexes seat half - or less - the number of audience than a regular movie hall - and charge upto double the regular ticket rates. But, I swear, they are worth it. I'd be any day ready to go for a movie if its in a multiplex - the normal cinema halls are turning me down, big time! Am waiting for the day my hometown too gets a good hall!

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