Interviewer: Inian | Camera: P.Ganesh Babu | Text: Jyothsna
In the film industry circles, Four Frames Kalyanam is a known figure. He is the manager of ‘Four Frames’ preview theatre at Nungambakkam, Chennai. He has been associated with the theatre for a very long time, right from ‘Good Luck’ days to be precise. Known to be extremely efficient and a stickler of rules, Kalyanam speaks to us about ‘Four Frames’, his boss director Priyadarshan and a lot more.

Connotation of ‘Four Frames’

Four Frames Kalyanam: Director Priyadarshan has constructed a Four Frames Sound company in Nungambakkam with DTS mixing, Dolby mixing and dubbing theatre facilities. As cinema is within a frame and his lucky number happens to be four, he has named this preview theatre as Four Frames.

Specialty of ‘Four Frames’

‘Four Frames’ preview theatre happens to be Priyan’s long cherished dream. During his days as an assistant director, Priyan used to travel to different parts of Chennai and always dreamt for a perfect preview theatre here. To make his dreams come true, there was an auction announced by the Income Tax Authorities on the ‘Good Luck’ preview theatre and around fifteen persons participated in the process. Priyan won the auction and bought the theatre for Rs. 2 crores and one lakh. Further on he spent Rs. 2 crores for repair and renovation work. He changed and modernized all the features from flooring, systems, Dolby digital, DTS, screen to bathroom and gave a complete facelift to the theatre. Now Four Frames is one of the best preview theatres in Asia and all the credit goes to Priyan sir.

Lissy Priyadarshan had recently stated that they were cheated and got the theatres after a prolonged battle. Can you tell us what happened?

Earlier this property belonged to Sujatha Films owned by G V. After we won the auction, M/S G V had filed a petition in 2005 stating that it was wrong to have conducted the auction and wanted the process to be revoked as they felt the EC was valid till 2008. This forced us to go to the court and the judgment was in our favor. However, they again appealed and this time around too the judgment came in our favor. Further on, the new board of directors of G V Films took the case to Supreme Court and their case was dismissed and the verdict was in Priyadarshan’s favor. This clearly shows truth always triumphs.

Popularity of Four Frames

We have the latest technology in our theatre and it is under the direct supervision of Priyadarshan. Though he spends most of his time in Mumbai, whenever he comes to Chennai, he will be at the theatre and will personally take care of every single need.

What are the facilities extended to CM Karunanidi in your theatre?

He is very happy to watch films in our theatre. First time around, we realized he needed a sofa to sit and we got it on a temporary basis. From the next time onwards, a seat was removed and in its place, we fixed the sofa which will be there whenever he comes and afterwards the sofa will be removed and placed safely. It is being used exclusively for him. We are extremely happy that he enjoys watching films here.

What was his feedback about the theatre?

He said, “They have made all facilities exclusively for me. So please screen all the films here.” There could not be a greater honor for us than this. I feel it has given me extra 25 years of life. When director K Balachander called me and said that CM was keen to watch films in our theatre, it gave me 200% happiness and is a matter of greatest pride.

" Please screen

all the films here "

It was said that you have sent Priyan sir out from theatre a couple of times when he was an assistant director. Is it true?

Yes, it is true. I did not do it deliberately. I was only doing my job then and I am proud of it. Now Priyan sir is my boss and whenever he introduces me to someone new, he will relate this. I am 55 years old and have lived my life in an honest path. I cannot deviate from it. I believe I should set an example for people working under me.

Which are the films that did dubbing and re-recording here?

Dubbing and mixing for Chandramukhi was done here. And many more films. The list is endless. We did 10 films in 2006, 13 in 2007 and 9 till now in 2009. We are growing steadily every year and there is a good response for our facilities in the industry. Some of the films are Emmagan, Anjaathe and so on. We have done many ‘100 day’ films. Recently we did mixing for Nadodigal. Currently we are doing Peranmai which has come out very well.

" I am not willing

to share that secret

with anyone "

What are the unique features of Four Frames?

A few years back, A V M Saravanan sir mentioned that there was some difference in Ejamaan and I apologized for the same. I turned that difference in my favor and without even consulting engineer, I tried with my limited knowledge and it has worked wonders till now. I am not willing to share that secret with anyone. As regards sound and light, I want to give one percent more than other theatres. I don’t want to share that secret also with any one.

How are today’s films?

A few years back, when television came in, there was a talk that cinema is dying a slow death. But it never happened and it will never happen. Cinema will not die. The onslaught of TV channels or programs or cricket matches cannot affect cinema. There is an increase of theatre going public now. There may be stray cases of theatres being demolished. But instead of single screens, they are only building multiplexes. My fervent appeal is to build more theatres and I am happy when there are multiplexes.

" Cinema

will not die "

What do the audience prefer - normal films or fantasy films?

They prefer fast paced films with many gimmicks in the technology front. They also want and appreciate innovations in films. Even a minute novelty is being welcomed.

How do you view the advent of corporates in filmdom?

They came, they left!

Mega budgeted films flop while small budgets succeed. What do you think are the reasons?

" Nobody

can understand

the taste of

the audience "

Nobody can understand the taste of the audience. There is nothing called the small or big budgets. If a film is accepted in Chennai, it will be accepted in Tiruthani or in Tirunelveli or in America.

What are ‘Four Frames’ productions now?

Our first venture in Tamil was ‘Poi Solla Porom’ which was a super hit. Kanchivaram, which spoke about the weaver’s plight, earned international acclaim. Kanchivaram was a highly enriching experience for Priyan sir.

What is Rajni’s feedback about your theatre?

Last when he came here was to view Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu. After using the rest room he came to me and said that we have continued to maintain high standards. I was moved by his comment and will always strive to maintain standards in our theatre.

What about Kamal?

Kamal sir is also very appreciative of the sound, light, maintenance and high quality of our theatre. He had a couple of personal screenings of Dasavatharam and was very happy.

What about Ajith and Vijay?

Ajith has been associated with us from a very early period and he is very happy to see us grow. Vijay has a high regard about the theatre and I have also kept up my standard.

" Dayanidhi Maran,

Kalanidhi Maran


Deputy CM Stalin

also watch films

here "

What about Sun Pictures?

Yes. They see all the pictures here. In fact Saxena sir of Sun TV jocularly told Priyan sir once that he spends more time here than at his office. Not only Saxena sir but also Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanidhi Maran and Deputy CM Stalin also watch films here. More than pride, I feel immensely happy.

What about Bollywood stars?

Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and almost all top Hindi film stars have watched films here. They are all happy because Priyan sir is a renowned director there and when it is his theatre, they seem to be twice as happy.

Star Visitors @ Four Frames - images
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