I had read it was a worthwhile experience to watch a movie at a movie theater in India. Watching movies in other countries is not what I typically think of doing while traveling, but I figured India must have an interesting theater livelihood, especially with Bollywood being such an integral part of daily life in this country.
To provide some background on the situation here, we decided to check out the nearest theater to our hostel in Delhi, which happened to be located in a super fancy mall. And when I say fancy, I mean fancyyyyy. We got plenty of stares while walking around in dirty chacos and wrinkled clothes. I hadn’t been in a mall in weeks, so I forgot how excessive and materialistic these places were until surrounded by Gucci, Chanel, and various other stores that my backpacker-budget -mind was cringing under. I could barely afford the Starbucks coffee (which might I add was more expensive than in America!).
With that picture in mind, please take note that we were not at your typical movie theater. Even though the movie ticket was less than $6, this was not the place that every Indian family would be able to afford.
I’m still looking forward to attending another cinema in India, and seeing a Bollywood movie (we saw Wonder Woman) if I get the time, but for now, this is the extremely unique experience you’ll have at a fancy Indian theater…
Before you enter:
Stand in line, ladies and gentleman! Well, make that two lines. Ladies have to go to one side, and men to the other. Still think it’s pointless, but that’s just my opinion. You’ll have your bags checked, and your body scanned in a security line. Also, you can’t enter the theater until about 15 minutes before your show starts.
If you’re early, you’ll have to stand around in the lobby. You can buy some extremely overpriced pizza, chicken popcorn, or ice cream. Or you can just people watch. The cotton candy stand can be pretty entertaining.
The theater itself:
Most American movies are shown in 3D, so you’ll have to grab some sunglasses. Apparently, 3D movies are the rage here. But don’t expect some stellar 3D – our movie was viewable, but definitely not HD quality.
Your comfy cushioned seats look like those at a opera house. They even recline! Don’t get too comfy though, before the movie starts you’ll all stand for the national anthem.
Two really awesome things stood out to me while at the movies. I still can’t stop laughing at them.
1. About one hour into the movie, during the most random scene, the movie suddenly stops, the screen turns black, and then the word “Intermission” appears across the screen. Everyone scrambles out of the theater before you can realize that that actually happened. But it’s not an entirely boring intermission, because the cheesiest ads start playing. I found it interesting that before each ad, a certificate quickly flashes across the screen, showing the authenticity of the ad.
2. The Indian government really is against cigarette smoking. On all the cigarette boxes that I’ve seen, they have the words “SMOKING KILLS” plastered across it, right near a colorful graphic picture of a man with throat cancer or a picture of lungs with cancer. It’s disturbing, but I’m not sure how much of an effect it has. So when a movie is played in India, anytime someone is shown smoking, the words “SMOKING KILLS” appears in the corner, as a reminder to all. I’m wondering when the US will start this? Haha.
Some nudity is also sensored FYI.
Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at this fancy theater. If I wasn’t on a budget, I could have paid a few more dollars for a Gold pass, and had my own waiter bring me food and drinks during the movie. One of my friends saw a movie with this ticket, and said it was amazing.
If you’ve been to a movie theater in India before, let me know what it was like in the comments below!