Mangaluru, Mar 22, 2018: Two theatres in Mangaluru that hold high nostalgic value for Mangalureans for catering to their cinematic dreams long before multiplexes came in, are Prabhat and Suchitra.
The iconic single screens, which have been entertaining audiences over decades are now undergoing a mega resurrection, courtesy the plush multiplexes that have come up all over the city. “Yes, while we have enjoyed the heydays too, of late, we have been facing stiff competition from the multiplexes that have come up at all the high-end malls in Mangaluru. The youth and college students who comprised a large part of our viewer base started moving towards them lured by the services.
Given Mangaluru’s climate, the demand for A/C was also high along with better sanitation facilities. The management, too felt the need for change and decided to give the theatres a mega makeover,” says Ravi Chandra, manager of Prabhat and Suchitra.
While Suchitra is over 80 years old, Prabhat has been in existence for 40 years. “Suchitra underwent renovation three times before this, but in case of Prabhat this is the first. But this is the first major makeover for both theatres. We will also be the first theatre in Mangaluru — including single screen and multiplexes — to be equipped with a 4 K projector and Dolby Sound Atmos system. Nobody has such an advanced technical equipment in the city; Mumbai is the only other city to have it,” says Ravi, with a hint of pride. Further, the seats will be new as will be the food stalls and restrooms. “We were scheduled to open in March, but work remains to be completed. We may take another two or three months to begin operations,” Ravi sums up.
Students of colleges are happy that the favourite theatres will soon be back. “Prabhat and Suchitra have always been screening the latest blockbusters and have been our favourite haunt to watch movies across languages. Nothing can beat the fun of watching a film at a single screen,” a student said. They were forced to head to a multiplex for better amenities, it seems.
While the Tulu industry is lamenting the lack of single screen theatres to screen their films, Ravi said, that once they open their newly-restored theatres, things will improve for the local industry. "While our support for Tulu films certainly is big, our old practice of screening movies of other languages, too is neded,” Ravi added.