Vol. 5 Num 163 Thu. November 04, 2004  

Star Cineplex-- The cinema Paradiso?

The country's first multiplex theatre complex, Star Cineplex, began its journey on October 9 at Bashundhara City. From then to now, with the breath taking blockbuster Spiderman 2 and state-of-the-art cinema technology, the complex offers a remarkable experience to the movie freaks of the city.

It was an evening, right after the Iftar, when this correspondent went to the 25,000 sq ft hi-tech complex. Only a few people were seen sitting in the posh lounge, waiting for the show of Bangla feature film Duratta. However, as time went by, trendily attired people from five to 60 years old, joined a long queue for the tickets of Spiderman 2. Suddenly the gigantic, swanky lounge turned into a fanfare of colourful people.

'Though it's the month of Ramadan, still we are going house-full for most shows of the "Masked Marvel",' says Rabeth Khan, the executive director of Show Motion Limited, the company behind the complex. As he continues, 'It is not the same with Duratta, which has an average response. But the response to Bachelor was so disappointing that we have stopped screening it.'

Is it because of the high price of tickets? Said Rabeth, 'You can't say that. We have cut down our rates and offered a good price for the shows before 5pm on weekdays and specially to attract students and young crowd.'

Cine freaks can luxuriate now with Spiderman 2 only for Tk. 100. The two shows at 12pm and 2:30pm during the weekdays costs Tk. 100 and Tk. 150 in general and premium categories, while the evening show at 8pm is priced a little high at Tk. 175 and Tk. 250. On Fridays and Saturdays, however, the tickets are sold at the rate as the evening shows of the weekdays.

Duratta is now showing twice except on Saturday with three shows. In this case, the shows before 5pm cost Tk. 65 and Tk. 85 on weekdays. But the evening shows and shows on Fridays and Saturdays cost Tk. 100 and Tk. 125.

Rabeth has a ready answer for those who think this revised rate is also too high. He says, 'In comparison to the merchandising cost and our services, the rates of the tickets are next to nothing.'

So what services do they provide? First of all, audiences are getting the latest blockbusters like Spiderman 2 instead of old Hollywood movies. Then the Multi-screen Cineplex has the state-of-art equipment like the digital Christie projection systems, special 'Platter' technology, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound system, Klipsch Speakers, Hertnett Digital projection screen and many more to maximise the audio and visual entertainment of the movie lovers. Having modern sitting arrangements of 262 viewers in each of the three halls with comfortable hand-rests for each seat give it an overall homely atmosphere.

As it is the time of Ramadan, only two out of the three halls are open now screening Spiderman 2 and Duratta. 'But the scenario will change soon, as on Eid five more movies will be released including Bride and Prejudice and Joyjatra,' concludes an enthusiastic Rabeth.

The phenomenal popularity of Spiderman 2 proves that people want to watch good new movies, not just any trash. And people have high expectations from the Star Cineplex. So can it be turned into the Cinema Paradiso?