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Private theatres, the new craze!

September 03, 2007 14:13 IST

Want to watch your favourite films -- Sholay or Godfather -- in a multiplex ambience? Well, your home can now double up as a theatre.

With changing lifestyles, having a private theatre where one can get all the comfort of a multiplex right at one's home, is the latest craze in the metros.

"Today people have enough of disposable income, and so give way to the trends going on. But most people who get their theatres customised are the ones who have had a good exposure of the earlier developed countries, they have been there done it all types. These are techno savvy people, those who value the importance of acoustics for a sound environment such as a theatre. Then there are people for whom it is a kind of signature," says Himanshu Kumar, acoustic interior designer, Mini Theatres, a firm specialising in setting up home theatres.

So what one gets is a projector, with state of the art sound system along with wide screen and sound proof rooms and a seating arrangement ranging from ordinary theatre seats to plush leather sofas along with nicely done up interiors giving a complete theatre experience right in your house.

"When I conceived this concept of custom designed theatres for home there were almost no takers, as this concept was too pre-matured of its time. The time gap from our first created theatre and the second one was more than a year. It was difficult but then today we have more than 110 installations in the country," Kumar, who started Mini Theatres in 1991, adds. 

Private theatres can cost anywhere between Rs 500,000 to more than Rs 50 lakhs (Rs 5 million) depending on the size of the room and the audio and video products used.

"We wanted the comfort of the theatre in our house. Nothing beats like the fun of having your entire family along with your close friends in your own theatre watching everybody's favorite movie," says Kalpita Chafekar from Pune whose real estate developer husband has converted one room on the first floor of his house into a theatre.

"Industrialists or CEOs of big companies

now do not like to watch a movie in a multiplex because of various reasons and also the distance. They want the same theatre experience in their home and this is what is driving this new market for customised theatres," says Abhimanyu Kavadia, manager sales, North India, Bang and Olufsen, manufacturer of complete line of audio and video products.

They are also into the business of setting up of such theatres. Firms specialising in setting up such home theatres are also coming up with newer innovations with the rising demands of customers.

"Customers would go to any lengths to ensure that their Home Theatre is not only better than their next door's but also that it contains more and more luxuries that are invented from day to day.

"Apart from the fact that the Home Theatre patrons spend much to enjoy state-of-the-art sight and sound technology, the latest innovation among the few rich movie-buffs is their small personal 'deluxe' theatre, with motorised recliners and massager seats and a popcorn machine not to forget the well illustrated Bar.

All this adds to enhancing their lifestyles," adds Kumar.

For some, it is not just the comfort of watching their favorite movies in their homes but more about a style statement. "Private theatres are meant for family and for friends. It is like booking an entire theatre for ourselves," says a leading jeweller in the capital who has a customised theatre in his house.

Even some realtors now promote common theatres as an add on feature for their new swanky apartments.

"Earlier, people never considered comfort level while watching movies but now it is an important factor that people take into consideration when it comes to entertainment of any sort including movies," says Kavadia.

As Kumar points out, such home theatres companies cater to the big industrialists in general who have the money to afford the a private theatre for themselves.

"We also have clients who would not buy a Mercedes but would spend more on customizing their theatre. These are the serious music and movie buffs kind who get a kick out of this," he adds.

Snehesh Alex Philip in New Delhi
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