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Single to multiple, city has it Bowled over by multiplex luxury

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 4: Thumping footsteps followed by the roar of engines as Salman Khan emerges from a shattering wall. Ear-splitting music booming out of speakers, tall figures ruling the celluloid, everything larger than life….

That was the experience for movie buffs in the state capital, who got their belated New Year gift today — the city’s first-ever multiple-screen theatre at Saheed Nagar.

The facility, the second in the state after Jeypore’s Cineplex, has placed Bhubaneswar citizens on an equal platform with their multiplex-hopping counterparts in metro cities.

“I had been putting off watching Dabangg 2 because I believed I would be able to see it at the multiplex. My dream has finally come true,” gushed college-goer Shalini, who watched the matinee show along with three friends.

The multiplex has three big screens with a total seating capacity of 960. All screens are equipped with state-of-the-art 2K digital projection systems. Film lovers are spoilt for choice with six movies, including Dabangg 2 and Life of Pi, currently running at Inox-Bhubaneswar.

“This is on a par with the multiplex in Bangalore. It was always a dream for us here to enjoy a movie in such an atmosphere — plush seats, chilling air-conditioning, ear-splitting sound and, above all, three-dimensional pictures,” said Satyajit, an MBA student.

He was not the only one speaking effusively about the experience. Rohit Agarwal, a businessman from Varanasi, who is holidaying here with family, gave Inox a big thumbs-up after watching a movie first show. “This is the best I have seen anywhere in the country. The experience makes my holiday complete,” said Agarwal.

However, there were others who felt that there was not much difference between the regular and the multiplex theatre in terms of screen and sound effects. “The screen and the acoustics even at Keshari and Maharaja halls are as good as this. But the overall ambience is far better and the crowd quite decent compared to other movie theatres. Women, in particular, may feel quite safe watching a film in a multiplex,” said Ashutosh, a film buff and professional singer, who had come to the multiplex with co-singer Siddharth.

The multiplex experience, though, comes with a pocket pinch. The ticket prices vary between Rs 90 and Rs 220 depending upon the day of the week and the timing of the shows, morning shows being the cheapest.

The tickets are the priciest from Friday to Sunday. Films are usually released on Friday, when there is a rush for first day, first show. But Inox officials said prices would fall after a film had run for three weeks.

Refusing to part with the exact sales figures, officials managing the brand new multiplex said: “It was very good.” Booking tickets is convenient with online purchase possible through the website www.inoxmovies.com and tele-booking facilities on 0674-2546994.

An added attraction of the complex is a snug refreshment corner that caters to all tastes, but the speciality here is multi-flavoured popcorn, pastries and burgers. “It’s great watching a film while munching your favourite snacks. It’s so groovy here!” said Bibhuti Baruah, a techie.

With the launch of this multi-screen theatre in Bhubaneswar, Inox operates 44 multiplexes and 174 screens in 28 cities. “With a convenient location, easy accessibility, and high-end technology, we aim to revolutionise the movie watching experience in the city,” said CEO of Inox Leisure Alok Tandon.