The real beneficiaries from Vishwaroopam's ban


By Kaushik L M

Almost the entire state of Tamil Nadu must have felt cheated by the two week delay in the release of Vishwaroopam, due to a firm legal tussle. Fans took to social media to vent their anger and frustration. Some even took to the streets protesting the stay on the release. But in this entire episode, a few people made hay. They might have even wished for a longer stay order.

We are talking about theaters in Tamil Nadu’s vicinity in states like Kerala, Andhra and Karnataka. One such modest theater goes by the name Srinivasa in a place called Sathyavedu in the TN-Andhra border. This one is hardly 40 kms from the Red Hills area in Chennai. Fans have been making a beeline to this particular theater to catch Vishwaroopam in all its glory. This theater has been screening the Tamil version that was initially cleared by the censor board, which is without the 7 cuts that are said to be made in the version that will be released in Tamil Nadu on Feb 7th.

Srinivasa is a humble theater which employs the UFO technology to beam movies. The surround sound in the theater is also pretty decent from what we hear. The capacity is around 400 to 500 and the ticket rate is a measly 50 bucks. For the past 10 days of Vishwaroopam screenings, each show has been like a first day first show in this theater. The reception from fans has been overwhelming and the crowd has been enormous for most of the shows.

People, who live in this humble village of Sathyavedu, have apparently never seen such bustling activity in their unassuming locality. Shops around the theater have seen a surge in sales thanks to the incoming crowd for the movie. Wine shops in the area, too, have seen a big horde as expected. In all, Vishwaroopam has given a huge boost to the economic activity in this village.

Inside the theater, the audiences are allowed to sit in any seat for the 50 bucks that they pay and before the show begins, there is a big scramble for the best seat in the house. It seems, people are also bringing their own personal chairs to the theater in order to avoid disappointment.

This is how things work outside the big cities. We are used to sleek multiplexes with proper seating and the best facilities. We also book our seats in advance thanks to online ticketing sites. Standing in mile long queues along with a maddening mass is almost a thing of the past. But when your favorite movie doesn’t hit the screens as expected in your state, you have to make do with measly and primitive facilities, just for the love of cinema. That’s what countless fans have been doing at Sathyavedu for the past 10 days.

We are sure that people, who have seen Vishwaroopam at Srinivasa Theater in Sathyavedu, would never ever forget this earthy experience. For those who didn’t have the time to go to Sathyavedu, there is a video doing the rounds which gives us a sneak peek at how the experience might have been. It looks straight out of the scene from Mannan where Rajini and Goundamani try to get their hands on a couple of tickets for the movie Chinna Thambi. This video is like a nostalgic trip for fans that were used to watching movies in such an ambience not too long ago, before the lure of multiplexes and organized ticketing.

In all, the owner of Srinivasa Theater, who decided to screen Vishwaroopam, must be thanking his lucky stars for this showering of kindness from the Lord Almighty. Never would he have imagined that a 2 week ban for the movie in the neighboring state would benefit his theater so generously.

Click here for a glimpse of the Sathyavedu experience



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