Out of Place
Something that has not changed are the tickets-same old cheap paper with stamp of date and different colors for various shows.
Ishwari Chitra Mandir offers a balcony ticket for Rs. 70 and dress circle for Rs. 50. For this price one can fetch only a glass of coke in a multiplex, forget the popcorn.
Between the digital projector & the screen, there lies a thick rectangular glass wall to keep the temperature of cabin maintained and save it from dust.
The machine & the screen.
I couldn’t resist peeping through this square window which earlier was the passage for beaming the image on screen.
Auspicious sign are as bright as they use to be but the machine is kept aside.
Manufacture’s plate read- Pt. Gora Lall & Sons. I wonder what they will be making now?
Wheel to adopt perforations.
Inside the comapartment of projector, this reflector was the power of the show.
Found these two poster sort of lobby cards in showcase. Earlier they use to release a set of 8 to 12 lobby cards and they were of no less attraction for cinema goers.
Mr Ajit Nayak -the owner.
Film rolls still exist in the world of photography but the reels have gone. Projection rooms at theaters are digital now. They receive films via satellite and a digital projector is enough. They have crisp picture quality on screen and good audio, far better than early days when audience had lot of opportunities to whistle and roar to draw attention of projector operator to blurred or overlapped images on screen or bad sound.
My childhood memories of projection room is that of hot cabin, prohibited for public, where I’d access in Prasad Talkies at Bareilly. Those days, latest films were house full for a week or so and in this situation I’ve watched lot of films while sitting on a stool in projection room.
I remember the operator puffing on his cigarettes & looking down the road from his cabin in Palace Theater at Allahabad. I always waved at him while passing from there. The projector was also visible from the window, which was probably only relief for operator from the heat.
This nostalgia took me to Ishwari Chitra Mandir of PP Ganj, a small town 24 kilometers away from the city of Gorakhpur. When I reached to the owner Mr Ajit Nayak, he told me that he got rid of old projectors & heating cabin and now runs on digital. No hassle, no fuss. Earlier, a delayed train carrying the boxes of film reels would ruin his day and the mood of film lovers. Even speed of rickshaw carrying these boxes from railway station to the theater also mattered. It was cumbersome business to deal with reels. Now the cabin consists of a digital projector, UPS & a voltage stabilizer and a comfortable chair for the operator. Rest is history.