An inflatable movie hall in India’s remote Himalayan region of Ladakh is ending up being the tallness of entertainment for its exhausted residents by screening the most recent movies and providing much-needed respite in the “world’s highest altitude cinema theater.”
At 11,562 feet, the mobile facility can seat 120 people in the temperature-controlled theater in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, which borders Chinese-controlled Tibet and needs admittance to standard films.
Screening the first movie “Bell Bottom”
PictureTime Digiplex, the private business company which installed the theater, said the drive was an “attempt to bring cinema watching experience to remote areas” in the area.
“It is the world’s first mobile digital movie theater, basically built for new-release films,” Sushil Chaudhary, coordinator of the theater and owner of PictureTime Digiplex, disclosed to Arab News.
The first film to be screened at the theater was Bollywood’s “Bell Bottom”, featuring Akshay Kumar, on Aug. 22, trailed by “Sekool,” a Ladakh-based documentary narrative portraying the existence of the Changpa wanderers nearby.
Financial cost overall
Chaudhary, who started the project in 2015 and later projected the idea for an inflatable theater, said the first mobile theater was installed during the 2016 Goa Film Festival.
It costs $65,000 to set up one meandering theater, which Chaudhary assets through his company.
“Right now, we are setting up these theaters in the extremely remote areas of India. We have set up five units in Arunachal Pradesh (a northeastern state bordering China) and plan to set up three more units in Ladakh,” Chaudhary disclosed.
”We want to become an even platform for all filmmakers” said Choudhary
The thought, he clarified, is “not just to take popular Bollywood movies” to remote areas but to screen “good, low budget movies and documentaries” which are not released across India, as well. India, the world’s second-most crowded country with 1.3 billion people, has a gigantic film industry that turns out about 1,000 films a year, more than a fifth of which are in the dominant Hindi language.
Be that as it may, since the beginning of the pandemic last year and the ensuing conclusion of cinema halls, filmmakers have been making the transition to screen films on digital platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime to feed movie-hungry audiences.
Chaudhary says he needs to furnish an all-inclusive platform with mobile movie theaters. “We want to become an even platform for all filmmakers,” he said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic upended their plans for a commercial launch.
While each theater can seat 120 people, only 80 are permitted passage right now as part of social distancing measures and COVID-19 health protocols. “Next, we plan to set up 100 screens in 100 days, and we will display new movies every day,” Chaudhary said.
“We identified three locations in each district, and the theater will move to the three locations every tenth day.”