Sathyam Cinemas, a well known theatre in Chennai, has started off a first of its kind disturbance-free show in the city
After churning up unique ideas such as Blind Date, screenings for hearing-impaired audiences and Ability Fest (a film festival hosted for the physically challenged that has begun this Monday), SPI Cinemas is at it again with the introduction of DND, a disturbance-free show that will be organised every Wednesday evening, starting from the 20th of this month.
On the initiative, Bhavesh S Shah, Head of Experience, says, "Those coming to the DND show will not be allowed to carry phones inside, or allowed to walk in late. Strict rules govern any talk inside the theatre, and those below the age of 15 won't be allowed either."
Bhavesh reveals that the theatre came up with the idea after receiving a lot of common complaints from its customers. "The most common complaints are about people kicking seats, wailing children, late-comers and those who flash lights to find their seats. We understand that this hinders the experience of watching films, especially if it's of the horror genre," he says. "Even my elder brother, cinematographer Nirav Shah, would often text me about this, and tell me that this is not how filmmakers wanted audiences to experience films."
Is this show applicable only to English films? "We are not making any such classifications right now. We believe that a certain section of people would like to watch films from all languages and genres without getting disturbed. For the moment, we will begin with English films and eventually, accommodate films of other languages too."
The experience, if successful, will be incorporated in all SPI Cinemas across the state. "Right now, we're experimenting only with evening shows in the main Sathyam complex. Eventually, if we get good feedback, all shows in all our sites on Wednesdays will be DND," adds Bhavesh.
He explains that the phones of customers will be confiscated before the show begins. "We'll even try to plan the other show timings to avoid parking hassles. Latecomers won't be allowed as the show starts right on time. In fact, our projection systems are automated and we will have to manually turn it off if we want to change the timings," he says.
On the age limitation, he says that he's received some complaints. "But they should understand it's only for one show. We've also got another concept lined up to cater to children. The future looks exciting," he says.