If you talk of quality, Ritz-the latest multiplex theater in Shimla has something to offer if not all. The seating is fine; the ambiance is good and organized offering one with few good options when it comes to junk food. The rest two theaters, better known as Rivoli and Shahi, through the years have seen lot of crowd but when it comes to infrastructure have nothing new to offer. Rather they have degraded. The quality had reduced by bounds.
Where Shahi offers a bad repute with mice running under the seats, Rivoli too offers broken chairs, stale munchies, and a horrible tasting coffee. Don’t get surprised if you find your seats occupied and then you are asked to move to some other seats, or if you don’t manage to find a seat in spite of a ticket in your hand or if a drunken ticket checker awaits you with no torch in hand to show you the way to the seats. All that for some good amount that can be used for many better things even if that just means eating.
Where in the other parts of the country, the opening of multiplex cine max and deluxe mini theaters is giving boost to the trend of watching movies in theaters; the cine-lover in Shimla is suffering from problems like comfort, hygiene and even safety. In absence of quality movie halls or for that sake even video parlors, the pirated CD trade is thriving and booming.
Overall, the entertainment options are few for the local crowd. Indeed one can feast his/her eyes on the latest trends and hint of glamor with a walk down the mall road or binge on junk food with options like Dominoes and chat shops readily serving to the appetite but that’s just about it. Theater-a name by which Shimla was recognized has already disappeared through the decades-and cinema-something that has emerged from it is already at the pity of the officials or the cine lover’s endurance at least in Shimla.
Photos by: Ankit Sood.