| Cine-goers queue up for tickets at Regent Fun Cinemas in Patna. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Films at Regent Fun Cinemas will release a day earlier for the movie buffs, literally.
The popular single-screen theatre near Gandhi Maidan has offered on Thursday what the city is slowly catching up: paid preview.
Now a common feature for several Bollywood hits also, paid preview allows cine-goers to watch a film a day ahead of its actual release. Limited number of paid preview shows are organised and one has to pay a premium over the normal ticket price generally. Regent Fun Cinemas, however, is taking the normal charge in a bid to popularise the culture in the city.
The theatre started the new system with the movie, 300: Rise of an Empire, directed by Noam Murro, the film is sequel of 2007, 300.
About the reason of starting the new facility, Suman Kumar Sinha, chairman and managing director of Regent Theatre Pvt. Ltd, said: “It is a new culture and normal in big cities across the country. However, it is a new trend in Patna. Many a time, we used to receive this demand when people wanted to watch the film before it releases. Now film enthusiasts have this option available in Patna.”
However, Cinepolis at P&M Mall introduced the paid preview system in 2012. The multiplex charges a premium over the regular rate for paid preview screenings.
He added: “We have just started the new facility at our theatre and I think people will welcome this move. This is the reason that the management decided to go with the normal rate — Rs 100, Rs 120 and Rs 140. We do not want to lose our regular audience who are coming to watch the movie for long time. It will surely click in Patna.”
On the first day of the paid preview, around 450 people watched the 300 sequel in 3D Hindi dubbing in which free snacks were served to all of them. They all came out with smiles and praised the facility. “Watching a movie a day before its actual release was something a privilege to a few. Now, even a common man has this opportunity and it is really a good beginning,” said Manoj Kumar, a resident of Boring Road.
Suresh Singh, a resident of Bakarganj, said: “Gone are the days when premier shows used to be the privilege of film stars and critics. Movie buffs here would certainly give a warm response to this initiative.”
Regent Fun Cinemas manager Ashish Kumar Singh said: “Other theatres may charge more for the paid preview but we are going to change the concept and will give an opportunity to every common man to enjoy the moment of watch the film a day in advance, I think every cine lovers deserve this.”
The theatre management also said that they would continue this trend with Bollywood films as well.
Praising the new system, another movie lover, Ajay Jaiswal, said: “Somewhere down the line, one does feel privileged when one gets a chance to see a movie ahead of its scheduled release. I am willing to pay even a premium for the ticket to watch a movie a day ahead of its release.”
On the other hand, some people did not like the idea. Surendra Sinha, a resident of Police Line Colony, said: “I don’t see any logic in the initiative. The first-day-first-show craze would be adversely hit and distributors may end up as losers by such initiative.”