Is Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan Breathing Life Back Into Old-School Single Screens?

'The first movie we ever screened in this hall was Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and it ran for a record 25 weeks.'

3 min read

Video Producer: Aakriti Handa

Video Editor: Rajbir Singh

At the border of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, in an unremarkable village called Loni, the walls of an old single screen, which has been void of any film screenings for the last four months, are being plastered by life-size posters of Shah Rukh Khan’s latest movie Pathaan.

A day before the release of his much-awaited film, SRK had tweeted a list of 25 single screens which were being reopened only to screen SRK’s Pathaan. One such single screen was Kavita Cinema, in Loni.

“The first movie we ever screened in this hall was Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) and it ran for a record 25 weeks. That was also an SRK film. This is also an SRK film. We are hoping Pathaan also gives us good business,” said Salman Qureshi, a caterer who provides snacks and cold drinks for the hall’s food counter.

Qureshi added that the cinema hall had shut down during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 as they were running into losses. But they opened briefly last year even though film screenings were few and far between.

“The last movie that did well for us was KGF; after that business has been mellow,” Vikas Shrivastava, Managing Director (Operations), told The Quint.


A Cinema Hall For All

“People like to choose the movies that they watch on the big screen. Unfortunately, single screens do not allow that luxury. As a result, we had converted it into two screens in 2020 to be able to run at least two movies at the same time,” explained Shrivastava.

He added that the owner of the building, Subhash Gupta, had partially converted the building into a marriage hall in 2018 as an alternate source of income.  

But there is one aspect that is still drawing the crowds from nearby to Kavita Cinema, and that is nominal ticket and F&B charges. With a ticket costing anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 150, and popcorn at Rs 50, the cinema hall is in a stiff cost competition with multiplexes.

“We want to cater to everyone. We want to be known in the industry for this (low prices),” said Shrivastava. The management of Kavita Cinema hopes that SRK’s Pathaan will act as a catalyst to the hall’s reasonable prices and bring more people.


Encapsulating Nostalgia

“We are aiming to run eight shows in a day, and hope that Pathaan does well on the Box Office,” Devesh, who supervises the daily working of the hall told The Quint. He remarked that keeping in line with modern trends, the hall is listed on aggregators such as BookMyShow for online ticket booking and also accepts online payment through UPI.

Meanwhile, SRK fans started queuing up outside the hall’s ticket counter too, wanting to buy stamped grey slips for tickets and paying in cash, seeming to encapsulate and secure a moment of nostalgia in these relatively hyper-dynamic times.

SRK's Pathaan also seems to be resuscitating the coffers of the industry, earlier dented by the COVID-19 pandemic and recently by the 'Boycott Bollywood' trend. The film's first day collection hit the roof, making Rs 67 crore in India, and hitting Rs 100 crore worldwide. The movie, also starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, released worldwide on 25 January.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and india

Topics:  Pathaan   Bollywood   Shah Rukh Khan 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More