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A new dimension to cinema

A major chain of multiplexes is going all out to promote alternative content. With the cinema theatre turning into a cultural space, cineastes can look forward to a stand-up act by Pretentious Nights, and One Direction’s concert screening, over the coming days

The conventional space of the cinema hall was destined to go through a makeover, sooner or later. Taking the leap of faith, PVR is introducing Event Cinema, a concept that involves live performances and international broadcasts, to give their cinema space a dynamic shot in the arm.

(L-R) Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne from the British-Irish boy band, One Direction. pic/afp
(L-R) Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne from the British-Irish boy band, One Direction. Pic/AFP

Dharmesh Datta, vice president — head alternate content, shares, “Internationally, Event Cinema has seen a return of an older, affluent audience, who have evolved beyond the multiplex experience. But India, being a younger market, looks as a promising destination for such concepts. The thrill of live broadcasts and interactive shows means that they are generally regarded as
more popular than recorded events.”

Biswa Kalyan Rath
Biswa Kalyan Rath is one of the  artistes from the comic duo, Pretentious Nights

Though the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) has been hosting live screenings of opera, ballet and theatre for some time now, screening of alternative content in Indian cinema halls is a first.

“With the plethora of talent that the country has to offer, this format of alternative content has a lot of potential to bring culture to the masses,” says a confident Datta, who has arranged for the

screening of Queen’s Hungarian Rhapsody concert film along with world-renowned ballet productions of Swan Lake
and Cinderella.

“Over the coming months, we shall introduce new formats such as opera, museum exhibitions and other varied content. We are in discussion with theatre groups to perform plays in our cinemas, special acts such as poetry reading and several other performances,” he reveals.

Come Thursday, the Pretentious Nights duo comprising Kannan Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath (whose Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon review fetched 6,16,700 views on YouTube), will perform stand-up comedy live.

The duo spell out the difference between an online and a live performance: “While online we strive for brevity, live shows allow us to delve deeper into the content that we choose. The element of being present directly with viewers allows us to create an experience that is hilarious in a variety of ways. Plus, the two of us do stand-up comedy professionally, so, we think we’re much funnier live.”

Thrilled to be performing in a space that ironically shows films that they blast later, they relate, “The idea of a cinema hall is a perfect extension of what the show is about. The act is about movies; what better place to do it, than in a movie theatre? It also allows us to boast that we were screened here without stretching the truth too considerably.”

For millennials, there is the band, One Direction — Where We Are, concert film screening on October 11 and 12 to anticipate.

On: September 25, 10.30 pm
At: PVR IMAX: Phoenix, Lower Parel.
Log on to: bookmyshow.com

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