MUMBAI: PVR Cinemas launched its first IMAX screen in Mumbai on Thursday in a launch party which was graced by the presence of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan. This screen was PVR Cinemas’ 365th screen in India, but only its second IMAX screen after the one at PVR Koramangala in Bengaluru.
Aamir Khan was the creme de la creme among the dignitaries that included Ajay Bijli, CMD, PVR Ltd., Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, JMD, PVR Ltd., KVS Manian, President – Consumer Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. and Don Savant, Senior VP and MD, Asia Pacific, IMAX. The launch was timed with the world premiere of the Superman movie – ‘Man Of Steel’.
Ajay Bijli mentioned that there were two things that they really define why they were in the movie-screening business was when an audience member buys a ticket, and secondly when the audience loves a movie on the big screen and thank their stars that they did not watch it in another format. Sanjeev Kumar Bijli said that he was happy that their second IMAX screen was in Mumbai, and that too at Lower Parel, which he called the “heart of Bombay, heart of Bollywood and the city of movies”. Meanwhile, Don Savant said that India was a strategic market for IMAX in the future.
Aamir Khan, whose next movie with Yashraj Films, ‘Dhoom 3’ will be remastered with IMAX technology to be the first Indian film to be screened in IMAX, spoke profusely of his relationship with PVR and his love for the IMAX format. Aamir Khan mentioned that he shared a very close relationship with Ajay Bijli, even to the extent of calling them at 1 am on the night before the release of any of his films. He’s ask them to lend him a screening hall so that he could check the mixing.
Aamir Khan’s first experience with IMAX was in Sydney, Australia when he was shooting for the landmark film ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. An IMAX screen was 10 minutes away from the location that Aamir Khan stayed at and he ended up watching all 10 films showing in that theater.
Now onto the IMAX screen. BusinessOfCinema.com got a chance to experience the visual and audio output at the screen. We can say that this will change the movie-going experience for cinemagoers in Mumbai. The screen is huge taking you right into the world of the movie. This was even more apparent when they screened a few trailers in 3D. For instance, they screened the trailer of Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming film ‘Pacific Rim’ and the depth of the shot in the image here was stupendous. You could feel like you were in the warehouse with a gigantic robot right in front of you. Immersive is the key word when it comes to the IMAX screen.
And it’s not just the visuals that are immersive. What we were truly swept away by was the audio. The surround sound during the trailers of ‘Man Of Steel’ and ‘Pacific Rim’ shook everyone in the hall. If the score of the film is bass-laden, are you in for a treat! That doesn’t mean it’s all just noise. For the trailer of Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’, the silence of space, and the fright felt when a human is lost in the vast expanse of space, was felt too. The silence needled the audience. The sound is truly immersive, as PVR claims and it’s going to be a great experience for Mumbai cinemagoers.
That’s not to say that everything is rosy about the new IMAX in town. Wadala still has the dome, while PVR’s IMAX is a like a normal screen with seats all the way to the front. If you end up getting seats right in the front, it could prove to be a painful experience cranking up your neck for the huge screen. It doesn’t help that the with the size of the screen, it may be difficult for you to take in all the action happening in front of you.
We just hope to get our sets right at the back and enjoy Superman’s first flight and monsters fighting versus robots.