Bengaluru: Bengaluru is losing its single screens due to real estate boom. In past few years many single screens have been demolished to build a mall or a complex. Sometimes these single screens have been converted to multiplexes. But something unique happened last Friday, when Vishnuvardhan starrer ‘Naagarahavu’ released. The film brings back legendary Vishnuvardhan on screen after his death. In similar way, yesteryear’s popular theatre Sharadha theatre was re-opened as Sharadha Cinemas. The new theatre has a multiplex feel and has been renovated.
Sharadha Cinemas is screening ‘Naagarahvu’ currently. The theatre is situated in SP Road, near Corporation Circle in the heart of the city. From past 70 years, the theatre has been favourite of masses. However, from past few years, it was shut down as it was becoming difficult to run it. Popular Kannada producer and distributor Jack Manju has brought this theatre for a lease for a period of 10 years.
According to sources, Jack Manju, who has become very active as distributor these days wanted a theatre wherein he can screen his films. It’s a common norm for distributors to have a theatre for lease. Popular distributor Jayanna has Kapali theatre in Gandhinagar for lease. Jack Manju wanted to release Sudeep’s ‘Kotigobba 2’ in Sharadha Cinemas first. However, as there was still some renovation work going on, he could not do so.
The theatre will also be available for other distributors. Jack Manju will be reportedly charging Rs 2.5 lacs as rent per week, which is less compared to other single screens in Bengaluru.
The theatre had a great first day in its second innings. Fans of Vishnuvardhan had decorated the theatre. Speaking about the theatre, Prakash Gowda, a retired bank employee said, “I have great memories with this theatre. I used to come with my grandparents to watch films here. They used to screen Kannada, Tamil and Telugu films here. I was sad when they closed the theatre. But now I am very happy. I will get my grandchildren soon to watch films here. The theatre has all modern facilities, but it has still maintained the old theatre charm.”
The theatre has 522 seats. The gold class has 158 seats and has been priced Rs 100 per seat. The silver class has 364 seats, which has been priced at Rs 80 per seat. The rates of admission will be more for non-Kannada films due to entertainment tax. The theatre will have five shows every day. Jack Manju has revealed that he will be giving more preferences to Kannada films. He also has plans to screen Bengali films for night show, as there is huge population of Bengalis in the surrounding.
Sharadha Cinemas in its upgraded version will surely be beneficial for distributors, who are struggling to get good single screens nowadays. If Sharadha Cinemas works financially for Jack Manju, we may see more single screens coming up in Bengaluru.