I don’t remember when the last time I went to a cinema hall. Being a movie buff, I have loved watching films since I was a child. As a child, I would not leave any chance to watch films on television, and my mom had to simply drag me from the front of the television or, more, worse, shut it down by removing the cable wire. As a result, I’ve had a lot of scolding’s from my siblings as they also could not watch television because of me. If I got control of the TV remote, my first preference was also movies. Even today, my favourite are movie channels.
Nostalgia of watching films
While growing up at home, I used to watch a lot of movies on the VCR. We used to get film cassettes from the video parlour and try to finish watching it as soon as possible by forwarding the songs so that we can watch more than one film in a single day. Sometimes, we used to get lucky if we behaved properly, then our parents would take us to the movie hall considering if the film was adequate for us.
I remember the first film I watched in a theatre back at home was ‘Jurassic Park.’ It was an overwhelming experience to see huge dinosaurs with surround sound, making it so real. I could recall one incident where all of us siblings and cousins were so engrossed in watching the film that suddenly one of the cousins screamed in fright in the cinema hall. We really got scared as to what happened, and on inquiring, we got to know, a few popcorns fell on her feet, and that made her shout as if one of the dinosaurs had come there. Even today, we all tease her with this incident and continue to irritate her.
Experience of watching films
For higher studies when I came to Pune, I remember watching a film in the new city was ‘Border,’ at Rahul theatre. During my college days, my love and affair with films and theatre hall were well known by friends. Some friends did have the same passion and love for films which made the movie-going experience more enjoyable. And, if someone suggested to us not to watch any film, that would give us more reason to watch it to understand on our own why it is a bad, average or good film. I like to have my own reasons for liking or disliking any film.
How film viewing evolved for me
I love to watch films on a big screen, with special effects, 3D effects, surround Dolby sound as everything makes it more real. I feel as if I am there with the character; I laugh and cry with them. Some films I feel only watching on the big screen will do justice, such as Jurassic Park, Border, Matrix, Krrish, Avatar, Ra. One, Life of Pi, Cocktail, Chennai Express, Avenger Series, Bhahubali, Padmaavat, the list is long.
Going back to my hometown
After finishing college, I came back to my hometown. There my affair with the cinema hall turned into a long-distance relationship. Managing household chores and other responsibilities left me with no time and energy to watch the film in a theatre. Mostly, I could only manage to go up to my living room to watch films. Not being able to watch a movie in a hall breaks my heart.
The film-watching experience during the pandemic
During the pandemic, everything shut down, and everyone was forced to stay indoors. People adopted new behaviours and activities for their survival. The entertainment industry is one of the severely affected industries, still helped people to survive. Since no one could go to the theatre, they brought the movie hall in the comfort of their living rooms. As more movies were released on the OTT platform, the more we got comfortable watching films in the comfort of our homes. It made life a little easier for us to stay occupied inside the house.
The hope of rekindling my romance of films in the theatre
With a decrease in covid cases and relaxation in restrictions by the government, cinema halls in some parts of the country were allowed to open their doors with safety guidelines. Though cinema halls are now open for the public, still there is a hesitation to go there. There is a certain sense of insecurity about whether it is safe to go or not. No one wants to be infected by the virus, making it difficult for us to go to a theatre. I only wish that things come to normalcy as soon as possible and it is safe to go to a cinema hall without any doubts or concern. I want to rekindle my long-distance affair and love with movie halls and enjoy the various fragrance of life once again.
Contributor: Sonal Srivastava
About our Writing Program Student
A simple yet strong and emotional girl, Sonal a fitness enthusiast firmly believes in healthy living. She loves travelling and exploring new places and being a foodie, loves to cook! For her, spending time and energy reading, listening to music, watching movies with friends and family is a an investment of a lifetime.