This post is dedicated to Kathirvel - my only friend from 'Arumbakkam' area.
The period is set between 1981-85 [ 1st to 5th std - Skipped 2nd std - double promotion :) ]. I was taken [ obviously ! ] by one or the other senior at home. Everyone had their own way of watching movies. My father used to take me to Sivaji / Kamal/ K.Viswanath/ KB/ Vittalacharya [ u know what - V.Acharya is a Kannadiga ] kind of movies. My mother had her own circle of friends. My chithappa and his friends were the film freaks who took me to the cinemas, most of the time.
Director Vincent Selva [ Selvam ] was my classmate's elder brother; they stayed just 6 houses next to us, in Aminjikarai. V.Selva was a good artist. He drew us a few pictures on our science notebook. I used to watch 'olliyum oliyum' and Sunday movies in his home [ BW Solidaire with sliding doors - Remember Subramaniapuram TV :) ].
Lakshmi theater is an important landmark of Aminjikarai and it's a small world on its own. It has so many small shops, lodge and the theatre behind. It's the bus stop too. Lakshmi has been the same since my childhood days. The same 2nd quality pictures used to come [ even now ]. We watched Sakalakalavallavan, Thanga magan, Thalaimagan, Pudhuk kavithai, uyirullavarai usha, Bhaktha pragalatha, Shaan, Payanangall mudivathillai, Mann vasanai etc here.
For "Sakalakala vallavan", my mother took me daily to Lakshmi and we returned without tickets. We were successful on the 3rd day. I am curious to see how this theatre is now. But it's still screening the best possible junk in the list.
It's the class A theatre for Chennai-600029 people. The good thing is that it's close to Lakshmi so that we can easily choose between these standing in front of Palace or Gowri Shankar hotel. I ve seen the Nenjathai Killadhe, Theeradha villayaatu pillai, Paayum puli, Naalai unadhu naall, Thoongathe thambi thoongathe, Nanayam illadha Nanayam [ இந்த படத்தை எடுத்தவங்களே மறந்திருப்பாங்க :) - First screen appearance of Judo Rathnam ]. I have collected all these useless trivia and became a blogger. Ha..ha..
Once, my father grabbed me out of my tamil exam [ half-yearly ] in my 4th std. I didn't have the least clue about where I was running towards. My father took me to "Muralikrishna" theatre and we went in - some news reel was going on with Indra gandhi speaking something furiously in hindi [ Most of the times, I remember seeing "Neenga nallaa irukkOnum" MGR song before movies]. The movie was Salangai Oli. I still remember the large banner where Kamal bows his head to the ground level and watching the dancing foot.I was madly dancing [ நெனப்பு தான்.. ! ] the next 2 weeks.
We were taken to this theatre in a short cut from the back side of Vellala street [ too many buffaloes :) ] passing on the koovam wooden bridge to the theatre directly. Pazhaniappa is the 3rd class theatre [ the theatre started it's operation with "Pallaandu Vaazhga" ] - you can understand by the list of movies. Thooral ninnu pochu, malaiyur mambatiyaan [ Hindi remake Rajini's 'Gangwar' was screened in Ega -ஐயா.. ஸாமி ஆளை விடு.. நீயும் உன் தகவலும்.. :) ].
Ellaam inba mayam - The best of those times. In return after 27 years, I took my father to Dasavatharam in PVR - Bangalore. Ellaam inba mayam was far better. மாமன் வூடு மச்சு வூடு.. பரிசம் போட்டது குச்சு வூடு :)
I never wonder why I remember all these things. There are only 2 ways to remember a thing - either you like it very much or you do it repeatedly [ once I read this in Kumudam ]. I like cinema - simple.
Ega and Sangam were high class theatres and we used to visit them, once in a blue moon. I skipped Sindhu Bhairavi [ in Ega ] and watched Mard [ later remade by Rajini as Maaveeran in Tamil ]. I watched Velaikaran, Andha 7 natkal, African Safari, My dear Kuttichathan in Ega.
GRAND- I have seen only one movie - Lolita [ 1997 ] directed by Adrian Lyne. Don't get afraid that I have mentioned about the director - Wrong n atractive posters technology :). Anna nagar badly needs a Theatre - I still wonder why none has tried building a theatre there.
My friend Crankx watched 3 shows in a day in the same Abirami theatre complex. :). The sad thing - Roxy has been demolished and getting replaced by Saravana stores. People are too busy in buying rather than spending time with family in entertainment. Too busy to fill up gas :).