Twin screens; Mysore's good old multiplex!

A view of Sterling and Skyline theatres at Vishweshwaraiah Industrial Suburb in Mysore. dh photo

M ultiplex may be the new trend that is fast catching up among youths, with most of the theatres having single screen, paving way for multiple screens under one roof. But in Mysore, though not close to multiplex, there are two screens under one roof standing tall since decades catering to the cinegoers.

Sterling and Skyline theatres at Vishweshwaraiah Industrial Suburb here have the credit of being only such structure; to be precise, twins! The only difference is the size- Sterling boasts of a huge seating capacity with 336 in balcony, 269 mini balcony and 200 second class with 56x24 size screen. While Skyline is a mini theatre with 198 seats in first class and 54 in the second with 34x15 size screen, located in the first floor of Sterling.

Abdul Jabbar, a class one contractor and the previous owner of the theatres told City Herald, he incorporated the model of twin theatres like- Ganga Jamuna in Mumbai (then Bombay) and Bluemoon and Blue Diamond in Bangalore. Sterling was the first to see its start in 1974, followed by Skyline four years later. Initially, it proved to be a burden with not much takers in those days. Gradually, it did click, mostly with English movies and sometime also Hindi, of biggies attracting class audience. Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Don’, Silvester Stallone starrer ‘Specialist’, ‘Cobra’,  Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Titanic’ were among several other releases that saw successful run at Sterling, recalls Nayaz Ahmed, son of Jabbar.

The theatres currently owned by N Lalithamma has undergone many changes inside, suiting the current genre. Satellite screening, pushback seats, second balcony (instead of front seats popular as ‘gandhi class) in the case of Sterling, among major ones.

Suresh, the manager says though the screening was resumed after a lull of two years (closed due to repairs) about nine years ago, there was no dearth of response when it was resumed.

Still there are many regulars, who don’t forget to enquire- ‘Will Sterling screen that particular movie?’ Though Skyline is restricted for second run (Continue to screen the movies shifted from another theatres), it hasn’t lost its charm.

Family audience opt for either one of the two theatres, for a peaceful viewing without any hassles. Bless these proud twins, who like others (theatres) in the city, have been weathering tough times with the onslaught of multiplexes, cable TV networks and ‘you tube’.

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