Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal had witness colonialism under the British Empire when it was the capital of the country under the rule of British East India Company. This city and its people, therefore, evolved with a cultural spirit that was derived by the culmination of Indian traditions and customs with underlying British and Western influence. The city has witnessed the birth and growth of the likes of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Rabindranath Tagore, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Subhash Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray and such other luminaries over a period of time.
Kolkata has been always being regarded as the origin of art movies in India. Though with age and time, commercial films also started to be produced in the city, Bengalis globally take immense pride in the work of visionaries like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak and others that have made films that were fodder for thoughts and changes in the society. Other than movies, literature is another source of pride for the native Bengali with the likes of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Rabindranath Tagore who not only penned the national song and the national anthem of India respectively, they also showed the way for generations to come to embrace literature and music as part of their being. The city appreciates and encourages all forms of arts with ample scope for people to not only watch movies in Kolkata, and participate in the Calcutta Book Fair; they also equally motivate young musicians, dancers, artists of folk-theatre groups called Jatras to survive and grow in the city.
The present generation here loves to watch Bollywood and Hollywood movies in Kolkata. With the growth and development of the real estate sector in the city, malls and multiplex culture has caught up fast with the youngsters here. With world-class and modern amenities and super luxury features, these multiplexes, still in the nascent stage, have been able to successfully overwhelm the people of the state. Huge screens with amazing 2D and 3D images, perfect sound quality, best seating arrangement – multiplex auditoriums are providing some of the best experiences of watching a movie in Kolkata.
Not that, single-screen halls do not exist here anymore. They do, but the attendance is barely enough to keep the owners going. These halls, in order to survive, generally sell tickets that are quite economical and feature movies that find viewership only amongst the not-so elite class of people. In the multiplex theater it is not only the movie, the screen and the sound that is a differentiator, there are other things like a posh lobby, food and beverages counters that sell fast food and aerated drinks, tea, coffee, nicely built spic and span wash areas – amenities that come at a price, charged exorbitantly at times but nonetheless offering a sense of feeling of fulfilment and enjoyment to the viewer that probably the single screen movie hall could never have delivered. Watching a movie in Kolkata could never have got better than this!