The Matinee Show, Housefull

No, I’m not alluding to that moronic Sajid Khan’s thoughtless trick. The word Housefull had an alternate significance in the brilliant long stretches of Film Lobbies – or should I say ‘Sanimaa’ and Desi bhasha mein ‘Theaterr’.

Some time ago one needed to remain in the long line outside the window of the Film Lobbies to purchase the tickets. On the right of the window was the line for the expensive and magnificent Gallery tickets and on the left was Budgetwalla Slow down – nothing to do with the casteism – everything relied upon how late or early you showed up for the Development Booking of the tickets. If the line was long, it just implied that you have shown up all in all too late for Advance Booking and in the present circumstance there was nothing left but to stand and implore the Ishta Devtaa that when your turn shows up in the wake of holding up in that long serpentine single record line, you wouldn’t see the hand painted tin board with the word ‘HOUSEFULL’ composed on it. This board was feared by each Image Dekhne Wala. Regardless of whether you selected to watch Morning Show, Early showing Show, 6 to 9 or 9 to 12-indeed, the tune ‘chalti hai kya Nau se Barrah’ had been roused from these image timings-you never needed to see the Housefull board without the pink, blue, yellow slip in your grasp.

When the Housefull load up was shown on the ticket window, you would begin hearing boisterous mumbles of ‘dus ka honey bees, Overhang bolo, Slow down bolo, Upper Bolo’… On the off chance that you have heard the term ‘ticket dark mein lena’, this was it; an exceptionally normal practice in those days. Purchasing the tickets in dark was in reality loads of fun. The tickets purchased in dark were as yet less expensive than a tub of popcorn sold at the PVRs of today.

Those pink-hued tickets with written by hand seat numbers, remaining in the long line, the get a kick out of seeing a short line and the failure of the housefull load up, each visit to the film lobby was insight in itself.

Additionally, these Film Corridors were cutting edge. Padded seats, enormous red pardaa covering the 70 MM screen, huge corridors and indeed, a functioning AC was a major hash (Otherwise known as murmur of help). In those days AC was an extravagance, not many could bear. Where they were no ACs, series of divider mounted fans welcomed you with their delicate breeze. All of this was best in class for us. Do you recollect the ‘Light Ridge Bhaiyaa’ whose light shaft would filter across the corridor and point out the right seat for you in whichever corner of the lobby it would be. Brain you, it was more exact than the pocket lasers that some ‘cool fellows’ convey to the performance centers nowadays.

The sorcery of film started right when the show reels displaying India’s opportunity battle in highly contrasting glimmered on the screen. Mahatma Gandhi tended to the crowd in a sepia-conditioned picture. This finished and the ‘ringer rang’. Picture abhi shuru hua hai simple dost… There was pin-drop quietness in the lobby; with the exception of the whirr of the divider mounted fans. The 70 MM screen illuminates with the projector radiating away the credit titles and the following 2.5 hours used to be entrancing. Watching Bachchan battle, Rajesh Khanna sing, Mithun dance, Jaggu Dadda’s tapoori discoursed… furthermore, out of nowhere in middle of this, you would hear the ringer ring once more. It’s time period. The trrring of the jug openers allure you to venture out and purchase a Gold Spot or Limca or a Pack of Popcorn that was sold for Rs. 10/ – and the well known Patti Samosa were for Rs 20/ – . This is the manner by which a working class or truth be told each family in India watched motion pictures on a warm Sunday evening.

Today, everything has changed. We have PVRs of the world promising us a definitive film going involvement with a little lobby… Uh oh different lobbies… all during that time with unusual film timings like 7.15 pm or 1.15 early afternoon or 10.10 in the evening. These stylish Cineplexes are doing everything in their strength to charm the crowds to these little lobbies. The ‘Housefull’ word has been supplanted with 100-crore film club and many such sections to choose whether a film is a hit or failure. The existence of the film these days is confined to Saturday and Sunday. A delivered film going into the subsequent week is viewed as a gigantic achievement and if the film figures out how to make due till the third week, you could picture the maker snickering all his way to the bank.

A new article in the paper featured a town in Punjab where all the single screen film corridors have closed down and Friday is simply one more day for this town. What’s more, it’s not by any means the only spot where single screens have been closed down. One can count them on back of a film ticket… the quantities of single screen film corridors are quick draining and are nearly being pronounced ‘wiped out’.

No big surprise the craftsman who was dealing with a closet at my house was playing tunes of Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Rafi, Lata, Shabbir Kumar on his touch-screen cell phone. Wondering for no specific reason, I asked him “Naye gaane pasand nahin hai kya?” He halted his work, grinned and said, “Aisa nahin hai Bhaiyya, naya gaana kaunsa hai woh pata greetings nai hai… Sanimaa dekhe barso ho gaye hain… Abdominal muscle to yaad bhi nai hai aakhri Sanimaa kaunsa dekhe hain…” He returned to his work, murmuring “Murmur hain rahi pyaar ke, humse kuch na boliye…” Shockingly he sang the tune without altering the verses, which normally occurs while murmuring nonchalantly. Envision doing this for most recent tunes. What number of new tunes would you be able to sing flawlessly? Not many. Such is the condition of motion pictures nowadays… Far off and out of sync with the normal creatures that long for their bygone times of ‘Air-Cooled Sanima Lobbies’.

How about we bring back the enchantment of watching Sanimaa once more. How about we return to watch Sanimaa in the Single Screen Corridors (in case there is one remaining in your city that is). I couldn’t imagine anything better than to remain in the long line for advance booking and deal again with the person selling tickets in dark. Indeed, I wouldn’t see any problems with seeing the ‘Housefull’ board over and over…

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