Single screen theatre
PETE AREA, BENGALURU
DURATION: 5 Months, Pre-thesis project
The project started with the brief of understanding a space with all its non human and human actors playing their parts. The assigned area was central Bengaluru which has seen the most changes and is the oldest part of the city. The reason for choosing single screen theatres was to understand the dynamics of the space through space and time. Since it is a public space, has been built in the colonial period, people have been asscoiated to it since decades together. Regular visitors, new visitors, women, old people, men, the canteen, the ticket system, the heirarchy in the ticket system, the stalls in the main auditorium, the type of movies that are played all are interconnected and their amalgamation forms an important base to understand the socio-cultural aspects of a space.
ORAL HISTORY COLLECTION AND IMPORTANT POINTS GATHERED
This narrative, is based upon my observations of the space and also attempts to narrate the stories and experiences of people I interviewed around the considered space. It reflects my interpretation, the interpretation of the interviewee and how has the space changed throughout the years. Below is an excerpt from the narrative. For the full version click here.
So majestic and old,
Your doors and walls have many stories to be told.
Tell me why are you overlooked,
I promise I’m already hooked.
It’s not so simple,
you are new here,
stories you ask, there are ample.
Tell me, do you dare?
the pain for me is a lot to bear.
Let’s turn back the hands of time,
There’s lots to know through your mime.
Ah! Back to the golden days,
Celebration, pomp, keeping the real life at bay.
First day first show- always, always full, you might’ve heard
“Come one come all, even if you’re not a cinema nerd!”
There were movies for everyone,
Men, women, families and for the little ones.
There were movies for everyone you say,
But they are a luxury in the current day.
“Do you wish to add popcorn and coke, sir?”
they will ask you ever so politely.
You need to be the country club set
That will make you both - the prey and the bait!
Visualizing the narrative is important to create an experience. The latter part of the dialogue shows characters as if they are talking to the viewer. I think this also sheds a light on recording the oral history of the space.
This artefact attempts to provides an entire experience of the theaters. The panels have motifs similar to how the theaters have motifs, resembling the art deco style. The projector is manual which represents the bygone age of the old projectors. The reel has illustrations of the places I went to and the people I interacted with.
The projector acts as a tool to trigger memories of the single screen theatres among the people who have been visiting them. It helps in recalling the stories and experiences one might have and in turn it aids the documentation of a dying space. It also unfolds the socio-cultural layers of a society.