Cinema patrons and fans of the Superstar Rajinikanth are in for a luxury treat as the plush new theatres offer the same facilities to filmgoers of all classes of tickets.
The city’s first modern multiplex — Mayajaal — on the East Coast Road is getting ready to receive Kaala. Work is furiously apace to get the last of the 16 theatres ready for the release date of June 7. Cinema patrons and fans of the Superstar Rajinikanth are in for a luxury treat as the plush new theatres offer the same facilities to filmgoers of all classes of tickets.
When Mayajaal was built a few decades ago, it was way before its time. People of several generations will remember their drive on the ECR to Kanathur to get away from the crowded city and enjoy an entertainment complex kind of treat with games, food court and, not to forget, tubs of popcorn for screen time.
You could easily spend the whole day at Mayajaal watching movies and taking in other forms of entertainment in between. Many a romance may have bloomed at this ECR getaway that went through several phases of ups and downs before settling into a modern pattern of a show complex with adequate parking and wide choice of food.
The complex may be unrecognisable now for visitors as it has received an ultra modern makeover bringing it in line with the best of today’s entertainment. While all 16 theatres have been upgraded for the best visual experience as well as aesthetic ambience with latest lighting and plush furnishings, what today’s generation might like most are the several gaming facilities, all of which have been upgraded.
The virtual reality games are proving a big hit. "I think today there is a generation shift every five years or so. The youngsters want the latest in global trends for entertainment," says Udeep Reddy, Managing Director, Mayajaal who has been the live force behind the modernisation drive along with his father Mohan Reddy. "Augmented Reality will also be offered within the next two months," Udeep adds. There is a laser gaming zone which is popular with corporates as teams can forget the real world for a whole day while they are competing with laser guns and vests. The bowling alley is breathtakingly designed with modern lightingmaking it a must visit spot.
The cricket simulation that has three levels from learner to intermediate to pro is a must stop spot for the young crowd in a cricket-crazy city. A batsman could test himself against a machine that delivers a ball to several variations. And invariably there are several spectators on hand to see how a young cricketer measures up to the challenge of a programme capable of bowling pace as well as spin and according to the age group of the participant.
As all the gaming and food facilities are at the ground level, there is a massive lobby to keep people occupied as big screens keep displaying visuals and information and the choice of movies available at the 16 screens. "So many people have moved into the southern suburbs that distance is no more an issue," Udeep says. It may still be time and distance to reach Mayajaal for the half day of fun and food, but today’s youngsters are an intrepid lot and are seen making the journey more often.
The feeling of space is another thing Mayajaal provides to city dwellers. There is a special atmosphere to it as it is set in 30 acres, some of which has given way to real estate development as luxury villas have sprung up in what used to be the old cricket ground. With the Bhangra restaurant of Navtej singh also there to provide authentic Punjabi cuisine, the new Mayajaal is getting huge footfalls that are most satisfying to the family who have kept their faith in an old city landmark and restored it with love and care.
"A number of multinational franchise outfits are waiting to get in. Domino’s will be the first and there will be others. We have to provide this access too as today’s youngsters are brand conscious even about the pizzas and pasta they eat," explains Udeep. The name of the game is entertainment and Mayajaal steps up to match a name it had earned in the sector with its early idea of a suburban multiplex and entertainment complex.