Tue, 2 Oct 12 at 17:03 | No Comments Yet
Movie theater attendance is falling away in this country, as videos and streaming internet make watching at home more and more appealing. But I miss the old cinemas. Big wide screens and an audience to share the experience with – it was communal in a way that Netflix just isn’t.
But theater-going in India could be a little too much of a good thing:
An Indian cinema hall is never the chamber of mass unconsciousness it is in the West. For one thing, you can never tell anyone to shut up. Everyone talks at will, often keeping up a running dialogue with the characters. If a god appears onscreen, people might throw coins or prostrate themselves in the aisles. Babies howl; during a song, a quarter of the audience might get up and procure refreshment in the lobby. Complex dialogue doesn’t work, because most of the time the audience doesn’t hear it. The sound is so bad in most Indian theaters that, as in a play, there can be no whispering in a Hindi film and the score always has to be played at top volume.
That description is from Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City. It’s a great book.