From cinema hall to multiplex: A public history
Athique, A. (2011). From cinema hall to multiplex: A public history. South Asian Popular Culture, 9(2), 147-160.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5520
The reconfiguration of the social spaces in which the theatrical exhibition of feature films takes place, from dedicated single-screen large capacity cinema halls to multiplex venues, has progressively transformed cinema exhibition across the world since the 1980s. The rise of the multiplex in India since 1997 has been an integral, and highly visible, component of the general spread of mall culture; with multiplex venues often being housed within shopping mall developments and other new forms of privatized ‘public’ leisure. As such, the multiplex has powerfully altered the nature of cinema as public space and thus, crucially, what it means to be in the cinema hall. While the reconstitution of the cinema crowd within the multiplex might be seen as constitutive of the ‘globalizing’ trends now at work in Indian cities, this article seeks to demonstrate that the particular dynamics of the Indian multiplex at the present time must also be understood within the historical trajectory of the Indian cinema hall and the political struggles that have been played out within its confines.
Taylor & Francis