Raising the bar, in a very limited way, to the movie-watching experience in Hyderabad, is a new multiplex in that part of town whose inhabitants really needed some bar-raising. At least, that is what the myth that surrounded Cinemax's pricing, suggested. To set some facts straight, this red-themed 3-screen package from the Mumbai-based Kanakia group is definitely a great option for those who live around the area, or might be passing through it, and want to watch a movie right away
Then, ordinary tickets are priced as at any other multiplex, at Rs. 100, and the higher price of Rs. 200 is for the recliner seats, which number 88 out of the total of 1,001 seats at the multiplex. Hence, the raised bar is only if you have purchased tickets for Rs. 200 each, chances of which are... you do the math. And sure as hell, your chances can get pummelled on weekends.
Screen 1, the biggest, has a total capacity of 481 seats. Its top 2 rows are designated as The Red Lounge, which consists of 52 lushly upholstered, adjustable recliners that let you behave like you're at home, minus cursing the intrusive doorbell. The other 2 screens have seating capacities of 250 and 270, with just the top row (18 seats) in the Rs. 200 category. The legroom is, of course, ample wherever you have recliners, but the same can't be said of the rest of the rows.
The VIP treatment for those who cared to spend Rs. 200, is not limited to just this. Red Loungers can wait before their show, at a plushly done-up seating area in a niche on the floor, a little away from the rest. While letting you attract stares of envy from among the waiting 'crowd', as well as being a good location for holding movie promos, this spot also overlooks the front of the L V Prasad Eye Hospital
(and the main road, of course), a view that could even cause you to note a few of life's ironies.
For others, the experience is normal multiplex fare, with great sound and good viewing quality. The experience, of course, deteriorates quickly as you go down the rows (hence, the rating on the 'comfort' parameter takes a hit). The first row, for the smaller screens, is a few metres away from the screen, and is a masochistic way to watch giant-sized moving images after having paid Rs. 100 for it.
As expected from a corporate house already in the business of multiplexes, the washrooms are clean, and the staff is courteous. Orders placed at the snack counter are delivered to your seat, too (and this is for everyone, not just the couch potatoes in the last row).
At the time of writing this (Jan 2009), the parking lot for 2-wheelers, a rubble-encrusted ground, proves to be quite painful for your vehicle. Also, the slightly cramped ticket counters are at one end of the complex, and are away from the currently used entrance into the building. With these initial issues ironed out, Cinemax, even with its inclination to disappoint last-minute weekend-show bookers with its limited capacity, could halt quite a bit of the Prasads
crowd right here.