My Experiences with Cinema Halls in Dhaka
When I was at university, my girlfriends liked to watch the cinema in the halls. I had never dreamed of watching cinema in halls, especially for the lack of security and the heavy rush of common people. My friends had worked out the problem cleverly. They would buy tickets and go in late and come out earlier before the finish time. That way they fell under no stampede or misfortune, and everything was secure for them.
I decided to join my girlfriends and have fun. My parents permitted me, and I remember watching two such movies in cinema halls. I can recall only these, but I have been to cinema halls many more times with them.
The First Cinema I Watched
Deceased and renowned Salman Shah and one of the new actresses were acting together as hero and heroine in the cinema. There were many tiers in the hall, and we selected one of the upper tiers in the hall because it was closer to the exit. We sat comfortably, watching and anticipating. There were sing-songs and fighting in the middle part of the cinema. Yes, the villains had their part. Not that I remember the story of the cinema rather I can reminisce a few glimpses from it. And I can remember I was happy watching together with my class girls away from the comfort of home.
The Second Cinema I Watched and What Followed
I remember another cinema I watched with my girlfriends was "Titanic". I had watched it several times before on the VCR, but my friends said that I would feel rejuvenated when I watched it in a hall. I joined my friends and was soon watching it with them in one of the upper tiers of the hall as usual. Yes, they were right. I watched the cinema again- I don’t know for the fifth or sixth time. But this time it was on a large screen instead of a TV screen. And I felt a fresh round of excitement and extreme bliss.
We walked out of the hall a few minutes earlier than the finish time according to my friends’ rule. But it was raining heavily. I got on to a rickshaw with one of my friends and traveled a lot of the distance towards home, and then it was knee-deep water in a side lane- the turning towards my home. My friend said the rickshaw could no way go any longer, and I had to get off in the knee-deep water and get drenched in the rain.
As I waded through and got wet, I fervently wished I had a boyfriend who would save me, the same way the Titanic’s heroine got saved by the hero. But nobody turned up, and I waded through until God was good enough to let a rickshaw come in my vicinity, which agreed to take me home in knee-deep water.
Facilities of a Cinema Hall
Most cinema halls except for the rare ones in Dhaka were old and dilapidated. There were hawkers with cold drinks, candies and nuts moving around when we got seated. We took advantage of these from the hawkers by buying from them. Since we came directly from the university, it was a good way to satisfy and quench our hunger and thirst.
My Previous Experiences with Cinema Halls
After VCRs were invented, I hardly thought of going to the cinema halls. But way back before this time, when I was a child, my parents along with siblings and relatives would go in a group to the cinema hall to watch a particular cinema. The problem was I didn’t understand the story of the cinema and was curious and asked many questions when I was told to keep quiet. Not enjoying and not understanding cinemas, I didn’t feel at home in the cinema halls, and they didn’t interest me.
However, being a grown-up, while I was a student at the university, I did enjoy watching cinemas, understanding their stories. I credit my class girls for my wonderful experiences with cinema halls during those good old golden times. Hopefully, when there is a reunion for our family or friends, we can enjoy a good movie in a modern and luminous cinema hall.
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© 2020 Rosina S Khan